Cottesloe councillors appear to leave ocean pool study in limbo

The proposed Cottesloe pool area. Picture: Jon Bassett.
The proposed Cottesloe pool area. Picture: Jon Bassett.

COTTESLOE Council appears to have pulled the plug on the second stage of a feasibility study into an ocean pool – despite voting down an alternative motion to scrap the investigation at its meeting last Tuesday.

A staff recommendation proposed up to $72,000 be spent on the second stage of the study, comprising consultants Advisan looking at the viability of the pool proposed by Subiaco architect Trevor Saleeba on a rock ledge south of the Cottesloe Groyne.

The council had already spent $$58,547 on work to tackle a call by about 1200 public submissions calling for a pool, including $45,535 for Advisan to so the study’s first stage that eliminated other pool proposals north of the groyne and at North Cottesloe.

“We’ve already spent $52,000 and now we’re being asked to spend another $72,00, and at the end of the day there is no guarantee that the report will say a pool is feasible and we’ve wasted $136,000,” Cr Rob Thomas said.

In September, councillors asked Advisan to quote on a report outlining the rock ledge’s environmental and Aboriginal heritage issues, but that quote was rejected in October.

Cr Thomas said a shark barrier on the north side of the groyne could be installed for a “fraction” of the cost of a multi-million dollar ocean pool.

Cr Sandra Boulter said the rock ledge site offered no protection from sea breezes, was far from car parks and could not be watched for swimmer safety and the facility’s security.

Her alternative motion to not go ahead with part two of the study, to do no other ocean pool investigations and release the study’s first report was voted down by Mayor Philip Angers using his casting ballot after a 4-4 split between councillors.

“As no other motion was foreshadowed during the debate, once that alternative motion was lost that item of business was completed and council moved onto the next order of business,” a council spokeswoman said.

The council did not reply to questions about whether the study’s second stage and the ocean pool idea were now both in limbo.