Council still considering shark barrier

An Eco Shark Barrier at Cottesloe still entices Cottesloe Council.
An Eco Shark Barrier at Cottesloe still entices Cottesloe Council.

‘We have had a presentation from Eco Shark Barrier and would be interested to talk to the Government about funding such a barrier,’ Mayor Jo Dawkins said.

The Government last month announced a Busselton net enclosure, after a trial of a similar 300m by 100m facility in Dunsborough last summer.

Former Cottesloe mayor John Hammond proposed a net enclosure after Ken Crew was killed by a great white shark at North Cottesloe in 2000, but the device was not discussed with Mrs Dawkins’ council before the Government’s Busselton announcement. This week, Cockburn Council will debate paying for an all-year Eco Shark Barrier at Coogee Beach for three years, which the Government has indicated may not be supported financially, after a successful trial of the commercial product last summer.

‘If we decide to lease, it would cost about $180,000, but to buy it over 10 years it’d be about $25,000 a year and about $10,000 each year in maintenance,’ Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said.

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said councils had the right to choose the best device for their residents and alleged the Dunsborough net had holes and lifted off the seabed at high tides, allowing dangerous stingrays and cobbler to be trapped at low tides.

‘But my barrier at high tide moves with the waves, and at a low tide folds down on itself, so there’s always a barrier to the seabed,’ Eco Shark Barrier inventor Craig Moss said.

Liberal South Metropolitan MLC Phil Edman wants a barrier in Rockingham and said there should be open tendering for net enclosures and barriers, particularly in the South West. |A Department of Premier and Cabinet spokesman said councils were free to pay for their own barriers but if the Government funded barriers it would choose what it believed was the best solution for local conditions.