Media Statement – Beach Enclosure
The City of Joondalup will work with other tiers of government to investigate alternative shark mitigation strategies along its 17km stretch of coastline, after ruling out the return of the beach enclosure at Sorrento Beach this summer.
The barrier was removed after it was found to have significant damage and structural faults.
Joondalup Council voted not to pursue a new, or replacement, enclosure until a reliable commercial option is available on the market.
Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said while the City is willing to investigate alternative means to improve beach safety, any new measures would need to be delivered in partnership with the State or Federal Government.
“This is an important issue, but it is not one that Local Governments can take on by themselves. This is an issue that affects all coastal municipalities across Western Australia and involves many different stakeholders,” he said.
“Ultimately, shark mitigation is a responsibility of the State Government.
“As a City we have spent significant funds on an enclosure that required substantial and ongoing repairs during its lifespan. And ultimately the enclosure failed. We are reluctant to spend more ratepayer dollars on barrier-type infrastructure if its structural integrity cannot be guaranteed.
“Tens of thousands of people enjoy swimming at our beaches, and up and down the Western Australian coastline; and we need to find the best way to mitigate the risk of shark attacks and provide them with an even safer swimming environment.
“By investing heavily, and with State Government support, into what was one of Perth’s largest beach enclosures, the City has shown we are willing to work with other stakeholders on this complex issue.”
Mayor Jacob said the City would look to collaborate with the Minister, local State and Federal Members of Parliament and relevant agencies on the issue.
The City of Joondalup is home to two of the most popular beaches in the metropolitan area at Sorrento and Mullaloo.
The Sorrento Beach Enclosure opened in December 2016 at a cost of $845,000, with the City receiving $400,000 in funding from the State Government.
In May 2016 Joondalup Council accepted a tender for the supply, installation and maintenance of an enclosure at Sorrento Beach for an initial three-year period.
The structure was to have a minimum useful life of 10 years, after which time consideration of a replacement was anticipated to be investigated and determined.
At the end of the City’s initial three-year maintenance contract, which expired in December 2019, the City undertook an independent assessment of the enclosure. That found the enclosure had significant damage and structural faults. The structure was subsequently removed.