Hillarys Horse Beach: Wanneroo Mayor hits back at Joondalup after closure


Blake Weller with Blitz at Hillarys Horse Beach. Picture: Martin Kennealey.
Blake Weller with Blitz at Hillarys Horse Beach. Picture: Martin Kennealey.

WANNEROO Mayor Tracey Roberts has hit back at criticism from the Joondalup council following the closure of the Hillarys Horse Beach.

The council voted to close the beach at its December 13 meeting and councillor Christine Hamilton-Prime told the chamber the decision would “force the City of Wanneroo’s hand in addressing this issue”.

“This council ought to not be persuaded by the inactions or unwillingness of another local authority to pander to the wishes of a group that we, in reality, have very little to do with,” she said.

At the meeting, Mayor Troy Pickard echoed calls for the neighbouring City to create a horse beach.

“I call on the Wanneroo council, the so called listening council of the north, to open their ears and to listen to their community which has overwhelmingly called for the establishment of a horse beach,” he said.

But Mrs Roberts said the Hillarys beach had been chosen as the most suitable in the area for horses by the former Shire of Wanneroo, which encompassed Joondalup.

“Hillarys was specifically chosen by the Shire for very good reasons – it is sheltered, does not contain exposed rocks, is flat and easily accessible,” she said.

“However, most of our beaches in the City of Wanneroo have issues with erosion, rocky outcrops and submerged reef.

“The City of Joondalup should take responsibility and explain their decision to close the horse beach despite overwhelming community opposition, rather than trying to divert criticism to the City of Wanneroo.”

A petition for the establishment of a horse beach in Eglinton was presented to the Wanneroo council in May but a report by the City found the location was unsuitable and the proposal was rejected by councillors.

Mrs Roberts said the City was undertaking its Coastal Hazard and Risk Management Adaptation Plan to determine the potential impact of sea level rise and coastal erosion over the next 100 years.

“This will help identify appropriate uses for all its beaches as part of the finalisation of the City’s Coastal Management Plan,” she said.

“The City of Wanneroo has invested a significant amount of time and money to identify appropriate uses for its stretch of coastline.

“However, the City will not be making a decision until this proper planning process – including community consultation – has been completed.”