Net win for barrier

Inventor Craig Moss demonstrates the Eco Shark Barrier’s features.
Inventor Craig Moss demonstrates the Eco Shark Barrier’s features.

Form Designs planned to have the revolutionary Eco Shark Barrier placed at the beach by September after gaining approval from Cockburn Council in July.

But ‘red tape’ has hindered the Bibra Lake business’ effort to get the trial up and running, with the Department of Land slow in granting them approval to drill into Crown land.

Hopes were raised last week when the local business was contacted by the Department with news that the licence should be granted in the next week.

‘We’ve been waiting for this day since September. We’ve waited patiently for them to say ‘put it in’,’ said Form Designs’ managing director Edward Khoury.

‘We didn’t want to kick up a fuss because we knew there would be red tape, but we didn’t expect to have to wait for so long.’

Department of Lands’ acting director general Mike Bradford said the State Government wanted to ensure community safety, considering the shark barrier proposal for Coogee involves untested technology.

‘The Department of Lands expects to be able to issue a licence for access to the seabed very soon,’ he said.

The Department’s diligence has spread further south, with Mr Khoury saying talks between Form Designs and the City of Busselton to install a second shark barrier at Old Dunsborough Beach broke down after State Government intervention.

A spokeswoman for the DPC said $165,000, handed to Busselton Council under the Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategy, was given to the South-West council over a bid from Cockburn Council involving the Eco Shark Barrier system.

She said both councils were invited to provide a full proposal in July based on detailed specifications approved by the Shark Hazard Advisory Research Committee, SHARC, headed by Chief Scientist Lyn Beazley.

‘Cockburn made an application that did not meet the specification. The City of Busselton provided a proposal detailing a net-based enclosure system that did meet the specifications,’ she said.

‘At no time has the City of Busselton made a submission based on the Eco Shark Barrier system.’