Aboriginal heritage makes councillors wary of ocean pool at Cottesloe Groyne

Tony Saleeba’s proposed ocean pool is on hold while quotes are sought by Cottesloe Council for reports on its Aborigianal heritage and environmental impacts. Picture: Jon Bassett.
Tony Saleeba’s proposed ocean pool is on hold while quotes are sought by Cottesloe Council for reports on its Aborigianal heritage and environmental impacts. Picture: Jon Bassett.

COTTESLOE ocean pool proponent Trevor Saleebasays there is now “high risk” the proposal could fail.

But Mr Saleeba said he would work with the council after it deferred in-depth investigation of his site, preferred by councillors, south of Cottesloe Groyne.

“I think what they have decided is reasonable,” Mr Saleeba said,

At Tuesday’smeeting, councillors decided to not spend $76,000 on the second stage of a feasibility study by consultants Advisian, which initially narrowed down three sites, including north of the groyne and North Cottesloe, to Mr Saleeba’s proposal this month.

If approved and funding is secured, the pool could be built over an adjacent reef ledge and sit just west of the Aboriginal site of Mudurup Rocks.

Instead, the council will ask for quotes from the consultants on the cost of separate reports on the Aboriginal heritage and environmental issues affecting the site.

Mr Saleeba said his report to the council showed there were no issues, but the council needed the correct approach to tackle any heritage concerns.

“With the right people involved, and I deal with the Aboriginal people all the time across the State, it’s a matter of negotiation and reaching and understanding so sensitivities are met,” he said.

Councillors were concerned about the pool’s potential impact on Mudurup Rocks.

“If I read an anthropologists’ report, it is one of the last significant mythological, heritage and indigenous fishing sites left on the metropolitan coast,” Cr Rob Thomas said.

Cr Thomas said councillors should know whether the rocks’ claimed significance could stop a pool before they decided on the second stage of the feasibility study, after $50,000 was spent on the first part.

The second stage would have included an architecture plan, including building and shelter designs, costs, geotechnical, coastal engineering and environmental studies, and community consultation for the site south of the groyne.

Quotes for the reports will be considered later this year.