Proposed Alfred Cove wave park clears first major hurdle after Melville council votes in favour of advertising for public comment

So much beauty at stake
So much beauty at stake

THE proposed Alfred Cove wave park has cleared its first major hurdle after Melville council voted in favour of advertising the project for public comment.

A packed and at times vocal gallery remained late into the night at a special meeting of council last nightto discuss the divisive proposal, which would boost the City’s annual revenue by around $700,000 per year in leasing fees.

After a number of questions from the gallery, most questioning the suitability of the site for a wave park, proponent and Wave Park Group founder Andrew Ross opened proceedings by reinforcing the business case for the proposal, which seeks to create a 2.4ha artificial lagoon capable of accommodating a maximum of 84 surfers at any one time.

He assured councillors he had already begun the consultation process with a wide variety of relevant regulatory bodies and fielded questions related to the wave park’s water quality and potential for polluting the adjacent Swan River.

He also said the facility, which will replenish from groundwater on site, would require less water each year than irrigating playing fields of a similar size.

Mr Ross was followed by Surf Lifesaving WA lifesaving operations co-ordinator Matt du Plesis and an Attadale resident that lives near to the proposed wave park, both of whom spoke in favour of the wave park.

The Swan Estuary Reserves Action Group raised a number of concerns with the proposal, stating it was adjacent to an area of international environmental significance.

The group urged council to hold off advertising the project for comment until the completion of the long-awaited Tompkins Park concept plan and to allow for an extensive community consultation period.

Council officers, after developing an initial business case for the proposal, gave the final deputation of the night and reinforced their support for advertising the project.

They revealed leasing the land to Wave Park Group would generate around $700,000 per annum and branded the project “unique and transformational”.

Councillor June Barton attempted to defer a decision until March next year but was defeated, councillors eventually voting 7-4 to advertise the project for public comment.