Rough seas for Port Coogee Marina pen holders targeted by thieves


Anton Von Wielligh, Kim Russell, Tony Merlino and Kevin Allen with Noel Summers at the marina. Picture: Matt Jelonek d465878
Anton Von Wielligh, Kim Russell, Tony Merlino and Kevin Allen with Noel Summers at the marina. Picture: Matt Jelonek d465878

IT is a picture-perfect spot but it has been far from smooth sailing for pen holders at the Port Coogee Marina, who have found themselves an ongoing target for thieves.

Thousands of dollars worth of fishing gear, electronics and other items have been nabbed from vessels over the last few months.

The latest break-in occurred just two weeks ago, prompting City of Cockburn councillor Kevin Allen to call on the City’s marina management team to stop the rot.

“The City absolutely has to take the issues and concerns of the pen holders a lot more seriously than what they have been up to date,” he said.

“It’s just dragged on for far too long.

“Now is the time for action – not rhetoric. There’s been far too much looking in the mirror over the few last few months.”

Penholder Tony Merlino was one of those targeted in the recent crime spree and among those stung multiple times since August.

City of Cockburn engineering and works director Charles Sullivan said security had been a focus for the City since taking over management of the marina from Frasers Property last July.

Along with CoSafe, the City employs a security officer to patrol the marina each night, a measure pen holders say has had little impact.

“There have been issues with the current security service provider, which the City is dealing with as a contract matter… but let it be known that the provision of the security service is being reviewed,” Mr Sullivan said.

Pen holders say other issues relating to services including a fuel facility and a sullage pump have been slow to implement.

Anton von Wielligh said changes were being driven by many of the 150 pen holders, not from marina management.

“My concern is that changes, like with security, are haphazard because management doesn’t have a plan,” he said.

Mr Sullivan was confident the City has the right team in place.

“The Marina Management staff have the knowledge and skills to operate the marina in a professional manner,” he said.

“Various security upgrades, and other operational improvements at the marina are planned and being implemented, drawing on the knowledge of the team, other City staff and consultation with pen holders.”

Suspicious behaviour can be reported to police on 131 444.