Clamp on kite surf schools

Perth Kitesurfing School owner Gwen Velge has backed council’s decision to ban kitesurfing schools on the beach until next summer when a policy is introduced. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d396244
Perth Kitesurfing School owner Gwen Velge has backed council’s decision to ban kitesurfing schools on the beach until next summer when a policy is introduced. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d396244

Formal approval is now required for businesses wanting to operate on any part of Cockburn’s 17km stretch of coastline.

To be approved for a recreation and leisure traders licence, applicants must provide a site plan showing where they will operate from, their insurance cover and police clearance as well as provide the City with a risk management plan.

Despite the tough standards, and the $1500 yearly fee, Perth Kitesurfing School owner Gwen Velge said beaches would be safer for the change.

‘The terms all seemed fair and pretty standard,’ he said. ‘For the security it gives us in (being) able to operate over the entire season and limiting access to legitimate schools operating under strict, safe practice, it is a small price to pay.’

Mr Velge said having council’s backing would give schools a leg to stand on when approaching someone who might be teaching illegally.

‘The fact that we know who the players are allows us to co-operate and make the whole operation safer,’ he said.

‘Having qualified instructors on the spot on a regular basis should make it safer for people who are not taking lessons but who might possibly require assistance or a quick tip or two. So far it has been good, we hope it keeps going that way.’

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said it was obvious, with beaches becoming more populated with kite surfers, that something needed to be done.

‘Although a number of traders had the relevant insurance, accreditation and risk management plans, the City had been advised that that there were traders operating from Woodman Point who did not ‘