Rockingham considers shark-proof barrier

Premier Colin Barnett announced last week the State Government would install a 100mx300m shark proof barrier at Dunsborough Beach this summer with similar barriers likely to be installed in the metropolitan area over coming years.

Mr Barnett said the barriers suited calmer waters, which were limited in Perth suburbs except for areas such as Rockingham and Cockburn.

‘We want to make people feel safe and comfortable in the water,’ he said.

‘It will not be a net, but a physical fence-like structure built under the water level.’

The Dunsborough trial will cost $165,370.

Opposition Leader and Rockingham MLA Mark McGowan threw his support behind a barrier at Rockingham.

‘Rockingham would be a suitable location for a shark enclosure, as we have some of the busiest beaches in WA,’ he said.

‘If these barriers can provide a safe environment and do not pose any threat to marine life, then Rockingham would be a worthy site.’

South Metropolitan Region MLC Phil Edman said Palm Beach would be the ideal location for a barrier.

‘Somewhere near Palm Beach jetty would be a suitable location as we have kids doing VacSwim there and it’s an area well used by families with young children,’ he said.

‘It would be fantastic to have it in place this summer, if possible.’

Mr Edman, who has dived with great white sharks off South Africa and South Australia, said he would lobby for a barrier in Rockingham.

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