Broken path of dreams
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.