City of Cockburn council to decide fate of Coogee Beach shark barrier

Eco Shark Barriers owner Craig Moss and Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett. Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au d444132
Eco Shark Barriers owner Craig Moss and Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett. Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au d444132

CITY of Cockburn councillors will decide the future of the Coogee Beach shark barrier at tonight’s council meeting.

The three-year agreement with Eco Shark Barriers, due to end in November, saw the barrier installed in 2014 to attract more beachgoers.

Councillors will vote on a recommendation that would see it extended for a five-year period at a cost of $90,000 a year with the maximum cost over five years being $450,000.

City of Cockburn infrastructure services manager Doug Vickery said while the City could not pre-empt council’s decision it was recommended the barrier be leased not purchased.

“An outright purchase at the end of the current lease period (November 2017) is an option, however current funding allocations are insufficient to cover that cost,” he said.

Cockburn councillor Kevin Allen, who made “at least three attempts” to have a barrier installed at the beach before an initial trial in 2013, told the Cockburn Gazette earlier this month he would argue in favour of keeping the barrier.

“I’ll be supporting it being retained full stop because of the fact it does bring people into the area,” he said.

According to a June online poll run by the City, 99 per cent of respondents were in favour of the barrier staying, while one per cent was happy to see it stay but preferred council to buy outright due to the costs to ratepayers.

It is estimated the cost of the barrier lease option would cost $2 per household on a straight cost/number of rateable properties basis.

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