Kite surfers set to soar

Last week, the Swan River Trust (SRT) granted licenses and permits to the three schools to run kite surfing classes in the area.

The permits allow each school a maximum of two instructors and four students at any one time during favourable winds. Approval came with conditions to protect the environment and avoid conflict with other river users.

‘As part of the conditions, kite surfing schools may not operate within 250 metres of the park’s boundary,’ Trust statutory assessment manager Paul Stephens said.

Mr Stephens said some community members had raised concerns about the approval of the schools but the Trust Board considered that the actual number of participants receiving instruction at any one time would be very small relative to the number of recreational kite surfers using these areas.

He said student kite surfers would also be under professional instruction and therefore unlikely to get into serious difficulty.

While schools were approved at Point Walter and Melville Beach, the SRT stopped short of supporting schools operating in other foreshore areas, including Attadale.

‘One of the operators had also applied to use the Attadale foreshore but this had been rejected because of the potential conflict with other users of the river and possible impacts on birdlife in the Alfred Cove Marine Park,’ he said.

The SRT’s decision to allow three schools but reject the Attadale proposal was consistent with the recommendations submitted by the City of Melville in April.

Chief executive Shayne Silcox said that while the decision to grant kite surfing school permits was made by the SRT, it had asked the City for its recommendations.

Kite surfing operator Soulkite, one of the successful applicants, said it was pleased with the decision and vowed to look after the environment.