Big changes to watercraft use

Commodore Terry Baker with Cr Rachel Pemberton. Picture: Jon Hewson           d451620
Commodore Terry Baker with Cr Rachel Pemberton. Picture: Jon Hewson         d451620

The DoT released the South Metropolitan Aquatic Use Review last November, asking the community for feedback to a number of proposals affecting the Fremantle and Cockburn coastlines.

Local changes included a new parasail and water ski area near Woodman Point, a new 200m watercraft-restricted area from Port Coogee to the Ammunition Jetty and new eight-knot speed limits from the Fremantle Sailing Club to the Port Coogee Marina.

DoT navigational safety and moorings manager Mark Briant said while there had been strong support to ban motorised vessels at South Beach following the consultation period, the proposal to allow vehicle access to a 30m section of beach south of the Fremantle Sailing Club would not go ahead.

“A new closed-waters zone banning motorised vessels will now extend the entire length of South Beach, from the Fremantle Sailing Club groyne to the second groyne to the south and extending 125m from shore,” he said.

“The amended proposal has the support of the City of Fremantle and the Fremantle Sailing Club, which will continue to have limited access to the area for training activities via an exemption which will be closely monitored by DoT.”

Fremantle Sailing Club commodore Terry Baker said they supported the push to ensure a safer environment for both the boating public and beachgoers.

“In conceding access to the beach by powered vessels, the club’s preferred position was to retain a narrow access corridor, but recognise and accept the strong feedback from the local community,” he said.

“We have long stated whatever the outcome, the impact of club members is minimal and going forward believe we can work with the community to build our relationship to our mutual benefit.”

City of Fremantle councillor Rachel Pemberton said it was a great outcome for the community.

“Fremantle Council designated South Beach a swimming zone in 2015, but we are limited in how we can inform boat users and enforce the safe swimming zone,” she said. “This decision means that the DoT will now do that.

“The community is to be congratulated for the tremendous campaign to make all of South Beach a safe swimming zone, as was shown in the overwhelming number of submissions made.”

Changes are expected to be implemented in May.

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