THE shark barrier drawing thousands of extra visitors to Coogee Beach could be retained beyond November, with the City of Cockburn seeking feedback from residents and beach-goers about its three-year trial.
The Eco Shark Barrier began its 36-month stay at the popular beach in late 2014 after the City agreed to lease the new technology from Kingsley inventor Craig Moss.
With the trial period lapsing in November, the City has gone to the community for its thoughts.
Comments so far have been positive, while an online poll run by the City has 99 per cent of |respondents voting in favour of it staying.
While no shark attacks have been reported at the beach, a 3m unknown species of shark was spotted a few hundred metres out from the barrier in May and a tiger shark was spotted 150m off Woodman Point in April.
Cockburn environment manager Chris Beaton said the trial had been a success from the City’s perspective.
“The trial has proven the ability of this type of shark mitigation device to withstand marine conditions over the longer term without adversely impacting marine species,” he said.
“The City is most pleased that a Perth local product has proven to be a world class and viable shark mitigation device that does not harm sea life.”
Mr Beaton said if the barrier would stay, it would likely remain in the water all year round and be leased from Mr Moss.
The City currently pays $85,000 a year to lease it.
Mr Moss, who installed a similar barrier in Sorrento in December, said he hoped the City would consider continuing the partnership in the future.
“It’s been a successful trial. The community loves it and we have lived and learnt a few things, but that’s what a trial is all about,” he said.
After an unsuccessful attempt to install his barrier in NSW in 2016, Mr Moss said he had not given up hope of trying again interstate.
To have your say, visit comment.cockburn.wa.gov.au.
Public consultation will close at the end of the month.
A decision is expected closer to the end of the lease period in November.
Eco Barrier timeline
July 2013: The City of Cockburn agrees to trial the Eco Shark Barrier at Coogee Beach.
December 2013: The Department of Lands approves the trial and the barrier is installed.
April 2014: The Eco Shark Barrier is pulled from the water.
May 2014: The City agrees to negotiate with the State Government over funding for a three-year trial.
June 2014: Former Premier Colin Barnett tells Parliament the State Government would not co-fund the trial.
October 2014: The City agrees to lease the barrier for three straight years, at $85,000 per annum.
November 2014: The barrier begins its 36-months stay in the water.
November 2015: Besides some loose floats and two trapped rays, the barrier survives its first 12 months unscathed.
May 2016: The barrier’s southern end is damaged during wild weather, with a stainless steel clip wearing through cables.
June 2017: The City of Cockburn calls on the public to provide feedback on the three year trial.
July – October 2017: The City will make a decision on whether the barrier remains.