City of Cockburn to apply for ‘no boating’ exclusion zone around C.Y O’Connor statue

The repaired statue.
The repaired statue.

CITY of Cockburn will apply to the Department of Transport for a “no boating” exclusion zone around the C.Y O’Connor statue of after it was struck by a vessel last month.

The 19-year-old bronze statue made by Fremantle sculptor Tony Jones was cut-off at the torso on Sunday February 25, sparking an investigation by the City and local authorities.

Yesterday it was returned to its ocean mount off North Coogee Beach by Shorewater Marine who delivered the bronze from artist Jones’ local studio to a barge at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour before being sailed out to the pylon for reattachment.

Infrastructure Services manager Doug Vickery said the incident had been reported to the Department of Transport Marine Investigations Branch for their follow up and costs for the recovery process were still being compiled.

“The City will be making application to the Department of Transport for the establishment of a ‘No Boating’ exclusion zone around the statue and potentially also include the remains of the Robb Jetty and the Wyola wreck,” he said.

Charles Yelverton O’Connor was a celebrated West Australian engineer and former Engineer-in-Chief appointed by WA Premier John Forrest in 1891.

He was responsible for projects including Fremantle Harbour, extensive railway construction in Perth, Fremantle, the Wheatbelt, Goldfields and South-West, plus the Perth to Kalgoorlie Water Pipeline.

But C.Y O’Connor’s pioneering projects attracted prolonged criticism from members of parliament and the press of the day.

The City chose Jones as the project artist and arranged for its installation but the statue sits 30m offshore in an area of Crown Land under the jurisdiction of the Department of Lands, Planning and Heritage.

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