Ocean pool champion welcomes alternative bid

Sea pool proponents led by Tom Locke are now looking for a site south of Cottesloe. Picture: Jon Bassett.
Sea pool proponents led by Tom Locke are now looking for a site south of Cottesloe. Picture: Jon Bassett.

OCEAN pool proponent Tom Locke has welcomed an alternative bid to build a 50m-long geothermal heated sea pool on lawns immediately south of Barchetta Cafe in North Cottesloe.

“Anywhere where we start creating an ocean pool, others will learn from it,” Mr Locke told the Western Suburbs Weekly.

He and other swimmers had lobbied for a Cottesloe ocean pool since their friend Ken Crew was killed by a great white shark while swimming in 2000 at North Cottesloe.

The Ocean Pools WA group Mr Locke now leads is not associated with a proposal from real estate agent Greg Shellabear for the Olympic pool near the cafe that could also create a piazza-style intersection at the end of Eric Street, opposite the Ocean Beach Hotel.

Mr Locke said an above sea level pool appeared to be linked to the hotel’s future, but his concept for ocean pools at sea level elsewhere on the coast was progressing after he withdrew from Cottesloe citing a lack of response from the Town’s council last year.

He said the North Cottesloe proposal faced anticipated global warming-induced erosion and other councils looking at seawalls to combat the threat should also consider ocean pools.

Next week, Cottesloe ratepayers get their last chance to provide design ideas for their council’s long-discussed $26 million Foreshore Renewal Master Plan for their 4.5km coast, without either Mr Locke’s or Mr Shellabear’s proposals.

The plan’s first and second stages, to be conducted over several years, include $800,000 for a new toilet block, $4.4 million on new pavements and a $3.7 million boardwalk built in $1.68 million and $2.08 million sections.

There has been $88,000 set aside for beach showers, $28,000 for fitness equipment, $60,000 for shade sails and $5.6 million for undetailed contingency spending.

Comments were due last Friday.

“Given that many people are either away or still in holiday mode this date could be problematic for those wishing to make a submission,” Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary Yvonne Hart said.

The deadline is now February 13, before which a ratepayer workshop will discuss the plan.

n The workshop is at Cottesloe Civic Centre, Broome Street, 7pm-9pm, next Thursday, with RSVPs to info@cottrandr.org.