Jindalee dunes could be cleared to make way for hang-gliding launch site

The Hang Gliders Association of WA wants a formal launch site in Jindalee.
The proposed launch site.
The Hang Gliders Association of WA wants a formal launch site in Jindalee. The proposed launch site.

A PROPOSAL to clear 100sq m of foreshore dunes for a hang-gliding launch site in Jindalee is currently out for public comment.

The proposal was initially tabled for the City of Wanneroo to consider in April but was referred back for further investigation.

At the time, City community programs and services manager Shane Spinks said the Hang Gliding Association of WA (HGAWA) had been using the site for two decades before approaching the City in 2012 for formal approval. He said they were looking to create a semi-permanent launch site 10m south-west of the current one, which was a “degraded area” and had risks with the elevation and degree of visibility.

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“The site that they are proposing is currently vegetated,” he said.

“They are looking to provide a surface from which to take off from.”

Asked how close the gliders’ activity would be to general public use of the area, Mr Spinks said they had been flying over a path and landing on the beach.

“There’s a degree of interaction with other beach users,” he said.

“They are an association which has guidelines in place which are overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority.”

Mr Spinks said they were proposing to use artificial turf, which would help prevent erosion on the coastal dune.

Several councillors raised concerns about the risk assessment, environmental impacts and public consultation at the March 22 council briefing session, prompting staff to withdraw the report.

That report said HGAWA had been informally using a small section within the dunes for more than 20 years.

“Quinns Beach is one of only two coastal sites within the Perth metro area that offers the unique set of weather conditions that are required to undertake the sport,” it said.

“These conditions occur on average once per month.

“After internal consultation with conservation maintenance, rangers and community facilities, the City approved HGAWA to continue to access and use the launch site.

“Prior to 2012 there had only been one incident in relation to the paragliding activities, which occurred when a dog on the dog beach was spooked by an overhead paraglider and ran off down the beach.”

It said levels of use at the site had been the same since 2012, averaging once a month with up to eight flyers in the air at once.

“The existing site is no longer deemed safe as it is subject to more turbulence due to its location in a hollow at the back of the dunes and has been overgrown with ground covering scrubs,” it said.

“The new site is on higher ground and offers lower turbulence and better lines of site for takeoff.”

The public consultation period to clear 100sq m for a paragliding and hang-gliding launch site will close on November 14.

Visit www.wanneroo.wa.gov.au for more.