Cottesloe council faces $126,000 bill to find out if it can have ocean pool

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 Council is on the cusp of spending $126,000 on consultants to advise on an ocean pool south of Cottesloe Groyne.

The choice comes after councillors rejected a $7720 quote for a report on the site’s Aboriginal heritage and environmental impacts that could stop the proposal last week.

“I understand this report is for consultants Advisian to advise on information freely available in the public realm,” Cr Sally Pyvis said.

Cr Pyvis said the information was already in reports submitted in previous years about the beach and foreshore for the council by consultants Cardno and anthropologists Barbara Dobson and Ken Macintyre.

Councillors asked Advisian to quote on a new report when they considered the $76,000 second stage of their feasibility study into an ocean pool in September.

The council had already spent $50,000 on the study’s first stage that investigated sites north and south of the groyne.

The site south of the groyne proposed by architect Trevor Seleeba was preferred after the first stage was completed.

However, it is next to the Aboriginal heritage area of Mudurup Rocks and sits on a rock ledge that is part of the Cottesloe Reef Habitat Protection Area.

Councillors wanted Advisian’s report so they would know how those two factors would influence any plans, before deciding on spending another $72,000 on the feasibility study.

Any need for significant spending on a pool was questioned in favour of cheaper alternatives for safe swimming, boosting tourism and better beach business.

“We should be looking at a shark barrier, and any money we put forward should be going to a barrier,” Cr Rob Thomas said.

A barrier is part of a renewed and separate investigation by the council into shark protection and safe swimming devices.

It was agreed to reject Advisian’s quote, and whether or not to approve the feasibility study’s second stage is likely to be reconsidered next month.