Quinns shark barrier approved

A SHARK barrier could be in place at Quinns Beach by next summer following a Wanneroo City Council decision.

Councillors at the February 2 meeting unanimously agreed to list $300,000 in the City’s long-term capital works program to install the barrier at the southern end of the beach.

According to the council agenda, it would be possible to install the barrier by summer 2016 as it would take up to six months to get all the necessary approvals.

“In recent years, shark sightings and attacks on swimmers, divers and surfers have increased along the WA coast, including the Perth metropolitan region,” the report said.

“Given the growing population and increased beach and water usage, a shark barrier would benefit the community in providing a safe swimming area.”

It said 136 people completed an online survey last November and December, and 72 per cent said they would use the beach more if there was a shark barrier.

The report said 73 per cent responded that they would use Quinns Beach over other beaches if it had a barrier, and 82 per cent said they would swim within the barrier.

“Overall, the installation of a shark barrier at Quinns Beach was supported by 80 per cent of the 136 survey respondents,” it said.

“A number of comments were negative, identifying an apparent waste of ratepayers’ money, interruptions for long distance swimmers and the low risk associated with shark incidents at Quinns Beach.

“The positives associated with creating a safe swimming enclosure, peace of mind for its users and potential benefits to local businesses outweigh these negatives.”

The project will proceed to a tender phase, with two potential suppliers already identified, and was subject to the council allocating funds in the next budget.

Installation is expected to cost about $300,000 for a 300m by 75m barrier similar to the one in Coogee, plus $10,000-$20,000 for annual maintenance costs.

The report also noted that the City had asked the Premier for funding, but was still waiting for a response.