Plan to close Hillarys horse beach rubs Wanneroo Mayor the wrong way

Cassie McEntee with horse Lucy at the Hillarys Horse Beach. Picture: Martin Kennealey d454896
Cassie McEntee with horse Lucy at the Hillarys Horse Beach. Picture: Martin Kennealey d454896

WANNEROO Mayor Tracey Roberts has lashed out at comments about establishing a horse beach within the City after the Joondalup council reaffirmed its decision to close the Hillarys one.

A 1002-signature petition was presented at the May 24 Wanneroo council meeting asking it to consider a horse beach near Pipidinny Road in Eglinton.

During public question time, Merriwa resident Lewis Flood raised concerns about the City of Joondalup closing the Hillarys horse beach.

“The original Shire of Wanneroo nominated that beach for horses for very good reason,” Mayor Tracey Roberts said.

“It’s a protected beach; it’s not rocky.

“The City of Joondalup are looking at closing that beach – why you would close a perfectly good beach I do not know.”

Mrs Roberts said Wanneroo was currently looking at erosion issues along its coastline, with a report on coastal management due to be finalised in 2017.

“Until we have finished that management plan, the City won’t be making any decisions on those beaches,” she said.

During discussion about the Quinns Rocks dog beach, Mrs Roberts said the neighbouring council was “ill informed” about whether a horse beach would be established at Tamala Park.

“We have since received some rather disturbing information from City of Joondalup that they think we should be housing a horse beach,” she said.

“It would be irresponsible of us to make a decision to establish any other beach for animal purposes until we finalise that plan.”

Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said the City had been discussing the issue with Wanneroo since 2010.

“Community consultation undertaken by the City of Wanneroo in 2011 demonstrated that 71 per cent of the community supported the provision of a horse beach within the area,” he said.

“However, it is understood opinions were divided on a preferred location, with most support for the Tamala Park option.

“Between 2012 and 2014, the City of Wanneroo commissioned a feasibility study to consider the environmental impacts and suitability of a horse beach at Tamala Park.

“Our City has come under increasing pressure from dog owners for an extension of dog exercising areas and it deferred consideration of a review of the horse beach pending the feasibility study by the City of Wanneroo.

“Given advice that the public release of the study was not imminent, the City of Joondalup considered it had little choice other than to reconsider its decision of 2010 to close the horse beach.

“We encourage the City of Wanneroo to consider the findings of its feasibility study and make them available to the public.”

Wanneroo’s draft coastal management plan 2012 acknowledged Joondalup’s 2010 decision to close the horse beach within 10 years and investigated the possibility of one being created within its boundaries.

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