Bro­ken path of dreams

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

A SOLI­TARY, crum­bling path af­ter ero­sion re­pairs is lead­ing reg­u­lar Port Beach swimmers to ques­tion how the less able will cope get­ting to the wa­ter when sum­mer kicks in.

“It’s the only beach in Perth where there’s a path 50m from a car park where se­niors, moth­ers with chil­dren and the dis­abled can drive up and get straight to the sand,” Port Beach Po­lar Bears pres­i­dent Suzette Fel­ton said.

The path is the only re­main­ing from about four that once led from the carpark, its chang­ing rooms and toi­lets be­fore Fre­man­tle Coun­cil in­stalled rock­walls and did other re­pairs af­ter two win­ters of se­vere ero­sion.

Ms Fel­ton said the Po­lar Bears’ mem­bers wanted the beach’s amenity for all the com­mu­nity, but par­tic­u­lar con­sid­er­a­tion was needed for the less able now that 200m of the beach had just one ac­cess point.

She said the coun­cil and State Gov­ern­ment had to con­sider how se­niors, moth­ers and the dis­abled would get to the beach if more rock­walls are built, should that turn out to be the con­clu­sion of a coun­cil re­port ex­pected soon on how to deal with the ero­sion.

A spokesman for the coun­cil said it was aware of the is­sues of one en­trance and in­spec­tions this month would de­ter­mine if more were opened be­fore sum­mer.

He said the coun­cil still ex­pected State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments to con­trib­ute to long-tern so­lu­tions as Port was a re­gion­ally-used beach.

Premier Mark Mc­Gowan plunged into the fund­ing de­bate af­ter vis­it­ing the Po­lar Bears to see first-hand what was hap­pen­ing and to gauge a beach fix in July.

How­ever his push for Fed­eral sup­port for WA ero­sion re­pairs failed at a Coun­cil of Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ments meet­ing.

Asked how he would get past Can­berra’s re­jec­tion, he re­it­er­ated the need for fed­eral money, and said a Coastal Adap­ta­tion Grant would as­sist with mon­i­tor­ing and in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ero­sion.

Gov­ern­ment min­is­ters are ex­pected to meet the coun­cil about a longterm so­lu­tion in com­ing weeks.

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