Watercraft use rules changed

The department released the South Metropolitan Aquatic Use Review last November, asking the community for feedback to several proposals affecting the Fremantle and Cockburn coastlines.

Changes included a new parasail and water ski area near Woodman Point, a new 200m watercraft restricted area from Port Coogee to the Ammunition Jetty and new eight-knot speed limits from the Fremantle Sailing Club to the Port Coogee Marina.

The department’s navigational safety and moorings manager Mark Briant said while there had been strong support to ban motorised vessels at South Beach following the consultation period, the proposal to allow vehicle access to a 30m section of beach south of the Fremantle Sailing Club would not go ahead.

“A new closed waters zone banning motorised vessels will now extend the entire length of South Beach, from the Fremantle Sailing Club groyne to the second groyne to the south, and extending 125m from shore,” he said.

“The amended proposal has the support of the City of Fremantle and the Fremantle Sailing Club, which will continue to have limited access to the area for training activities via an exemption which will be closely monitored by DoT.

“Personal watercraft free-styling will be allowed at the water ski area north of Woodman Point, but the proposal to extend the beach take-off and landing area will not proceed.”

Fremantle Sailing Club commodore Terry Baker said the club supported the push to ensure a safer environment for the boating public and beachgoers.

“In conceding access to the beach by powered vessels, the club’s preferred position was to retain a narrow access corridor, but recognise and accept the strong feedback from the local community,” he said.

City of Cockburn infrastructure services manager Doug Vickery said the City was supportive of boating restrictions along its coastline.

“Most particularly the speed restrictions and boating prohibition areas in the vicinity of our prime beachgoer swimming areas. The City is also appreciative of the extensive consultation process undertaken by the department,” he said.

Changes are expected to be implemented in May.

Visit www.transport.wa.gov.au/southmetroreview for details.