City of Wanneroo investigates CCTV installation after a coastal safety audit

Live-streaming cameras could be installed at several City of Wanneroo beaches, including the The Spot in Two Rocks
Live-streaming cameras could be installed at several City of Wanneroo beaches, including the The Spot in Two Rocks

LIVE streaming cameras could be installed at the City of Wanneroo's main swimming beaches following a coastal safety audit.

The council will tonight consider a report on the second part of its coastal risk and safety signage audit, prompted by two drownings at Claytons Beach in Mindarie in early 2013.

At last week’s council briefing, community development director Fiona Bentley said staff, particularly Shane Spinks, had undertaken a lot of work since the deaths of Peter Swan and Jenon Biwot (13) and the subsequent 1247-signature petition for signs.

Mrs Bentley said the first part of the audit was finished in April. This included the installation of signs at most beaches. The second part, which included risk audits at swimming beaches, was now done.

‘We have learnt a lot ” now we need to get on and deliver it,’ she said.

Mrs Bentley said they planned to deliver the safety outcomes within 18 months, including spending $90,000 on CCTV cameras at The Spot, Yanchep Lagoon, Fishermans Hollow, Quinns Beach, Jindalee or the Quinns dog beach, and at Claytons.

She said they would mostly be webcams focused on the water so people could view live streams of conditions on the City’s website before they went to the beach.

Cr Bob Smithson asked whether the cameras would feed into the City’s central CCTV hub. City businesses director Chris Morrison said they were looking at a range of technologies as police had indicated some beaches were also crime hot spots.

Mrs Bentley said other work would include closing informal and inappropriate beach access routes, providing emergency beacons and working with Surf Life Saving WA to run beach safety education at local schools.

According to the council report, audits in part two were done on three clusters of beaches, with one focused on Two Rocks, another on Yanchep and the third on Quinns Rocks.

Overall, it estimated implementing risk treatments would cost $395,000 this financial year and $70,000 in 2015-16, and sought council approval to spend an unbudgeted $320,000 this year.

Mrs Bentley said the audits focused on beaches currently used but the City was working with developers to find out when they would open up new beaches and hoped to have signs ready beforehand.

‘As more beaches become accessible with development, there will be more work to be done,’ she said.

During public question time, Quinns Rocks resident Natalie Sangalli raised concerns about whether the signs reflected the way people actually used beaches and if they did not updating them would add to the cost.

Mrs Bentley said the accuracy of signs would be reviewed whenever they needed to be replaced, and would tell people the nearest lifeguard patrolled beaches.

‘That’s really where we want people to go swimming,’ she said.

Currently there are two beaches along the City’s 39km coastline that have summer lifeguard and volunteer surf lifesaver patrols ” Quinns Beach in Mindarie and Yanchep Lagoon.