Beached by broken stairs: Jindalee

Resident Doug Croker is fed up with authorities playing what he called ‘bureaucratic hand ball’ to fix the stairs at Jindalee. Picture: Martin Kennealey         www.communitypix.com.au   d444073
Resident Doug Croker is fed up with authorities playing what he called ‘bureaucratic hand ball’ to fix the stairs at Jindalee. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d444073

BEACH stairs in Jindalee could reopen in November, but a Butler resident has labelled delays in repairing them “bureaucratic hand ball”.

Doug Croker said steps to the beach south of the foreshore cafe were damaged last year but remained unfixed last week.

“Since then, (they) have been the cause of a tug-of-war between the developer, Wanneroo council and the Department of Planning,” he said.

Mr Croker said he was told the City of Wanneroo would not take possession of the steps from Heath Development Company (HDC) until they met planning department specifications.

He said the authorities were “playing bureaucratic hand ball” at the expense of “local residents’ healthy pursuits”.

“Mere mortals like the residents of the surrounding suburbs just have to enter the beach via a sand dune access of around 30 degrees,” he said.

HDC project director Brian Newman said a storm in September, 2014, damaged the lower two metres of the staircase.

“There was a fairly strong storm and a high tide; it demolished the bottom foundation section of the stairs,” he said.

Mr Newman said the original stairs had approval from the City based on general designs.

But they had to adjust the structures during construction to suit the site.

As a result, he said the City had wanted the developer to apply for retrospective approval for the stairs before it granted a building approval to repair them.

Mr Newman said that approval was given in August after several months of negotiations.

He said their contractor, who was currently working on another project, would soon do the $45,000 repair job and reopen the stairs in November.

In the interim, he said they would install signage to inform local residents of the timeline of works.

Mr Newman said they developed the foreshore area in 2009, which they were required to maintain for two years, but had retained responsibility and not yet handed it over to the City.

He said people could still access the beach from another staircase north of the beach cafe.

The City’s land development manager Elias Ayad said the stairs were first damaged by storm and weather conditions at the end of winter 2013, and sustained further damage in the middle of last year.

“The developer is responsible for maintenance. The structure will become the City’s responsibility after official handover,” he said.

Mr Ayad said extensive effort had gone into the design and approval process for the repairs.

“The City and developer want to ensure that the design and materials used to repair the stairs offer a long-term solution,” he said.