Rubble rumbles another Christmas at Port Beach in Fremantle

There was rubble on the beaches again this morning. Picture Jon Bassett.
There was rubble on the beaches again this morning. Picture Jon Bassett.

HOLIDAY swimmers have been warned after more asbestos, tile shards and rubble appeared at Sandtracks and Port beaches in North Fremantle this week.

“If for any reason, the beaches are considered to be unsafe the City of Fremantle will close them,” a council spokesman said.

Rubble and rocks littered the beaches’ and appeared to make entering the water difficult for some swimmers on Wednesday morning.

Morning walkers collected fragments of asbestos and shards.

Asbestos and shards collected by walkers.

The contamination has been exposed regularly for several years as the man-made beach was eroded, exposing more than a century’s worth of dredging spoil and industrial waste each summer.

After heavy erosion last winter, the council installed interim rock wall protection at the undermined Port Beach car park.

The council removed exposed boulders and pipes when it built new access ramps using sand scraped from the beach two weeks ago.

However, stones in the sand used can now be seen in some of the ramps.

Asked if the new rubble would be removed and why sand containing rocks was used, the spokesman it was due to the beaches being created by dredged material, it was expected that fragments would appear “from time to time” and warning signs told swimmers of the possible danger.

Beach walker Peter McLarty said the latest asbestos haul was picked up from among the “tonnes” of the beaches’ dredging waste now being spread from Rous Head to the South Cottesloe Groyne.

“When they were building the ramps I spoke to the foreman and said ‘are you going to clear this all up?’, and he said they’d have to reconstruct the beach,” Mr McLarty said.

Fremantle Council received a State Government grant to develop a long-term solution to the erosion.

A report is expected in May next year on how to protect the adjacent foreshore – which could be up to 180m west of the pre-1880s shoreline.

Offshore and onshore surveyors were measuring the beaches and offshore sand patterns for the study as far north as Mosman Beach earlier this month.