Fremantle: more erosion worries at Port Beach, Sandtracks

A moderate shift in wind and waves has eroded the Port Beach car park over the weekend.  Pictures: Jon Bassett
A moderate shift in wind and waves has eroded the Port Beach car park over the weekend. Pictures: Jon Bassett

ALREADY heavily eroded, Port Beach appears to be partially losing its car park.

Eroded rubble has also been found in dunes after strong wind and waves during the weekend in North Fremantle.

“We’re only in April and we’ve already only got very little beach to walk on, and we don’t know where this erosion will end,” Port Beach Polar Bears president Suzette Felton told Community News this morning.

Nearby Sandtracks Beach is eroding in front of the road serving the container port.

Since January, the once wide and clean beach and adjacent Sandtracks Beach have been lost to erosion, exposing dune-buried debris from demolished former port-related industry.

The contamination, including bricks, road base, limestone rubble and asbestos, has left Polar Bears negotiating dangerous surf break debris and a shrinking beach at their daily 6am swims conducted whatever the weather.

Regular beach users have been lobbying Fremantle Council, the Fremantle Port Authority (FPA) and the State Government to clean up the mess, protect the beach and come clean about alleged historic warnings the debris would eventually be exposed either by the effect of the Rous Head container terminal or sea rises and unseasonal weather from global warning.

More debris appears in the dunes.

The council and the FPA are monitoring the debris, have installed warning signs, asked for Government grants to determine the causes, and said the beaches could be closed if they are found unsafe.

This morning, part of the car park was closed after strong north west and westerly winds created waves from directions different from summer patterns.

Port Beach being hit on Sunday.

The waves hit rocks protecting the vehicle bays, totally eroded the beach and ate at the debris-filled dunes on Saturday and Sunday.

Ms Felton said the Polar Bears did not know what they would do if the erosion made their beach un-swimmable, but they wanted Fremantle Council to visit and explain the causes and action which would be taken about the damage and debris, in addition to the monitoring and “fixing it up wherever possible”.

Onshore waves hit rocks in front of the car park on Sunday.

This afternoon, a council spokesman said the city had conducted a “temporary fix” to the damage caused as a result of the weather over the weekend.

“We’re also following up a longer-term solution as a priority this week,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said officers would be happy to meet with Port Beach Polar Bears club members to outline action being taken to manage the rubble and debris on the beach.

Waves went further into the dunes on Sunday.

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