Quinns Beach shark barrier talks continue

WIDER community consultation and funding avenues were the talk of Wanneroo City councillors supporting a shark barrier proposed for Quinns Beach this month.

Mayor Tracey Roberts’ amendment to write to the Premier about securing State Government funding was backed, along with Cr Sabine Winton’s change to only list the $300,000 as a budget item once the community had been consulted about the project.

On October 13, the Times reported the southern section of the local beach had been named as the preferred site for the structure.

A 300m barrier parallel to the coast and 75m barrier perpendicular to the coast has been recommended.

It is expected to cost about $300,000 for its design and installation and between $10,000 and $20,000 for annual inspection and maintenance fees.

Mrs Roberts said a written request for State Government support would be in addition to an investigation into all other funding opportunities for the barrier.

“In other words, we’re not leaving any stone unturned,” she said.

“It’s very clear that the suggestion has been in the Quinns Rocks beach area, but certainly consultation and community engagement will occur with regards to that.”

A report to the council said the City was discussing the location and extent of the barrier with Surf Life Saving WA and that initial talks with the Quinns Mindarie Surf Club were positive and would continue.

However, Cr Winton argued the council shouldn’t formally commit to the enclosure without a sense of what the wider community wanted.

She said while she got the sense people would be “overwhelmingly in support” of it, they hadn’t yet been asked.

“It clearly says in the report that we haven’t engaged with the wider community in terms of the proposal and to me the recommendation suggests committing to this and then afterwards asking the community,” she said.

“I’m suggesting an amendment that turns that process around… the outcome of the community consultation would need to come back for consideration.”

Funds would then be listed in the City’s 20-year capital works program.

The feasibility study report considered by the council said the enclosure could boost the profile of the beach, visitor numbers, customers at local businesses and memberships at the surf-lifesaving club.

The City will investigate more shark barriers in areas of future coastal development.