Quinns Beach to get surf patrol tower this summer

Quinns Beach will get a surf tower similar to this one in Scarborough.
Quinns Beach will get a surf tower similar to this one in Scarborough.

QUINNS Beach is set to get a $100,000 surf patrol tower this summer.

Following public consultation, Wanneroo Council noted the structure would be installed on the beach near the corner of Quinns Road and Ocean Drive at its November meeting.

A report to the council said the City had allocated $80,000 in its 2017-18 budget to buy and install a tower similar to structures at City Beach and Scarborough.

It said after receiving an extra $70,000 from the State Government in early 2018, Quinns Mindarie Surf Life Saving Club proposed a two-storey building on the north-west lawn near Portofino’s.

However, the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage said the permanent structure was not permitted in the foreshore reserve, so they reverted to the temporary, single-storey structure.

During community consultation in mid-2018, the City received 10 submissions, eight of which were not in favour of the tower.

Concerns raised included that it would compromise the integrity of the dunes, increase pedestrian traffic and block views.

QMSLSC president Saxon France gave a deputation at the November 13 meeting about the importance of the tower and having it in the right position.

“Our role is to look after the public when they come down to the beach,” he said.

“We are there to make they are safe and they go home in one piece at the end of the day.”

Mr France said it was important to have a purpose-built tower, rather than the one on a trailer the volunteer-run club used to use, and to locate it as high up as possible.

He referred to a situation in March 2017 when three fishermen went overboard and the sea rescue vessel couldn’t see them in the swell.

“One of our surf lifesavers happened to be up near the club, could see over the swell, could see this person waving in the swell,” he said.

“We need a tower that has sufficient elevation so we are not just looking at sea level but looking at a height down to the sea.

“If we are elevated we can look down into the water.

“When that tower is erected, that will improve our ability to look after all beach goers.”

Resident Garmah Jones said while residents were not opposed to the surf tower, they had not supported the original proposed location near the Quinns Road and Ocean Drive corner.

Mr Jones said they had a duty of care to the sand dunes and bush forever, referring back to erosion issues in 1995 which came within 2m of the road reserve.

He said the tower and access to it should not encroach on the areas protected with conservation fencing.

Deputy mayor Nat Sangalli said the report had been difficult to consider in respect to the community living in the area and easy to consider in respect to community safety.

“I believe that we have found the best position at this point in time for this tower,” she said.

“This tower isn’t permanent – it can be moved if it’s found to not be suitable in the position that it is in.”

Cr Brett Treby said the high value placed on the safety of the broader community using the beach that couldn’t be compromised.

The recommendation noting the outcome of consultation and the location was carried unanimously.

At the council meeting, Cr Sonet Coetzee asked when the Quinnns Beach swimming enclosure would be put back in – assets director Harminder Singh said it would be in December.