The southwest city was recently granted $165,000 from the State Government’s Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategy fund to run its own trial at Old Dunsborough Beach this summer.
Cockburn Council had previously approved Bibra Lake company Form Designs (FD) to trial the patented Eco Shark Barrier from September until March, but a newly estimated installation date of late November could leave the door open for them to be beaten to the post.
When questioned by the Gazette, both Form Designs and the State Government denied there was any deal in place to ensure the State Government-funded enclosure would be Western Australia’s first.
Form Designs’ managing director Edward Khoury instead put the delay down to slower than expected manufacture times.
‘Form Designs and the City of Cockburn are still going ahead as planned with the Eco Shark Barrier trial at Coogee which is now anticipated to be installed late November,’ he said.
‘Further testing on the barrier has been completed but the process of getting samples back and forth from the manufacturer took longer than was expected.
‘There were many approvals required to be obtained from various government agencies before installation could take place, which have also taken longer than expected to process.’
A State Government spokesperson said the Dunsborough trial would commence as soon as possible and be ready for the summer period.