Cottesloe Council to look at all types of shark barriers for next summer

Stock image.
Stock image.

COTTESLOE Council will widen its new shark attack prevention investigation to detection buoys and underwater electromagnetic fields but Mayor Phil Angers wants net-like barriers that made Coogee and Sorrento beaches popular.

“I look at Coogee and you can see so many people there, and people say ‘I know I’m safe and the kids are safe’,” Mr Anders said at last night’s meeting.

He successfully asked his councillors for the investigation after on-going reports from lifesavers, residents and businesses of less swimmers and fewer customers in recent years.

Since 2000, 15 people have been killed by sharks off the WA coast, including Bryn Davies off Cottesloe Beach in 2011 and Ken Crew at North Cottesloe in 2000.

Mr Angers said that a barrier would give people “peace of mind”, restore parents’ confidence in surf lifesaving and swimming classes, and could be removed for winter surfing.

“You don’t have to ask many people to know that the perception of shark attack is high,” Cr Lorraine Young said.

However, the council’s attempt to get a barrier failed when the previous State Government failed to contribute $130,000 in 2015.

Last night, Cr Rod Thomas said the new investigation should include devices or products which have since become available.

Chief executive Mat Humfrey said it would, with clever buoys a detection system relying on a text message warning sent to beachgoers.

Mr Humfrey will also seek the State planning and environmental permits for a barrier so any potential installation is not delayed next summer.

A barrier has Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club support, and proponents say it could be an interim measure before any sea pool under investigation by the council is built.

However, councillors decided to defer the second stage of their investigation into a potential sea pool last night.

They will instead ask the investigation’s consultants to quote on the cost of separate reports outlining the Aboriginal heritage and environmental issues affecting the preferred site, south of Cottesloe Groyne at Mudurup Rocks.