‘It’s encouraging that Fremantle local government is leading the ocean pool development there, and I would encourage Fremantle Council to work with evidence and take advice from scientists, not hearsay from so-called experts,’ Mr Locke said.
He is among several regular morning swimmers who have spent 14 years developing a Cottesloe sea pool plan since Ken Crew was killed by a shark at North Cottesloe in 2000.
Using engineering expertise and research from Professor John Bloomfield and Centre for Water Research Professor Jorg Imberger, the group proposed to build a J-shaped rock wall along Cottesloe Groyne’s north side to create a sand-bottom, wave-flushed 75m by 25m, $6.8 million pool for the disabled, children and seniors.
Mr Locke said Cottesloe Council leadership about his proposal had been ‘sadly lacking’ and had allowed the State Government to suggest an inappropriate site south of the groyne.
Fremantle sea pool proponent Sam Martin said it was unlikely a Bathers Beach sea pool would use Cottesloe’s design because it would be above sea level, filled by solar-powered pumps and have more facilities for residents and tourists.
‘I don’t think it’s a race with Cottesloe, but it is a process certain councils need to go through at their own paces,’ Mr Martin said.
Fremantle Port Authority has expressed concern about a sea pool attracting people and cars near its operations.
Mr Martin said the petition to be sent to State Parliament would loosely define a location.
Cottesloe Mayor Jo Dawkins said that other than a briefing by the proponents, at which ‘a lot’ of residents opposed a pool on the beach, the council had never received a development application for a sea pool north of the groyne.
An initial idea of a rock pool on the southern side would be complicated by the Aboriginal heritage status of the nearby Mudurup Rocks.
Mrs Dawkins said the council had not decided whether a pool would be part of its Foreshore Plan.