Sorrento Beach Enclosure to be Removed, Further Options to be Considered

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At its November 2020 meeting, Joondalup Council unanimously resolved to remove the Sorrento Beach enclosure due to the compromised integrity of the structure.

Council has also requested the City to investigate options for the provision of a replacement enclosure.

The Sorrento Beach Enclosure was 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 and found the barrier structure to have significant damage and structural faults.

Advisory signage was installed at Sorrento Beach to notify visitors that there was damage to the barrier and swimmers were advised to exercise caution whilst inside the enclosure.

The City and contractor endeavoured to return the enclosure to a fully operational condition, but recent independent advice outlined the imminent end of the existing barrier’s useful life.

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said that although the beach enclosure has provided a separation from marine life for swimmers, failures with the barrier matrix have meant that its integrity can no longer be guaranteed.

“Since the enclosure was installed there has been no known entry of any large predatory animals,” Mayor Jacob said.

“While monitoring and ad hoc repairs have been routinely carried out over the life of the structure by the contractor, in an effort to maintain the structure, there is now an unacceptable risk that at any time existing holes could increase in size or new holes could form.

“The degradation in the enclosure matrix has been the focus of recent media attention, with some debris washing up on the foreshore. The removal of the barrier will also prevent further debris and a clean-up of the area will be undertaken at the same time.”

“The City will investigate options for the provision of a replacement enclosure. This will enable the City to adequately investigate and plan appropriately to implement a new enclosure, aided by the lessons learnt from the Sorrento Beach enclosure.

“The Sorrento Beach enclosure became a popular asset enjoyed by many residents and other visitors to the area, and the importance of an accessible and safe beach to the community cannot be underestimated.

“The City is exploring its options in relation to the future of a new enclosure at the site and in doing so will engage with the relevant community and state government stakeholders.”

With the existing structure too severely damaged to allow it to be repaired or managed through to the end of the 2020-21 summer period, it is now being removed with works expected to be substantially completed during the week ending Friday 27 November 2020. New signs will be installed to inform the public accordingly.