City of Mandurah to weigh alternative sites for Falcon shark barrier

A report to be considered by Mandurah’s City Council on Tuesday night will recommend a feasibility study on “possible alternative beach sites” for a shark barrier the state government committed to help build off Falcon Bay.

Minister for Fisheries Dave Kelly announced a grant of $200,000 for the City of Mandurah to build the shark barrier near to where Ben Gerring was killed by a shark in 2016, but the project has been under a cloud since it was revealed a barrier could cost twice that amount.

The report to be considered by Council said a shark barrier typically cost $1000 per metre and there were ongoing maintenance costs.

It recommends the City run a community consultation process on the proposal with a feasibility study to be delivered to Council in September.

However, it also recommends Council “request the Chief Executive Officer to prepare a feasibility study on possible alternative beach sites within the City of Mandurah that may be suitable for the installation of a beach enclosure”.

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup had previously raised concerns the City was planning to change the location of the shark barrier.

“Let’s not forget there’s been sharks wash up in Falcon Bay, a member of the Mandurah community was killed by shark off Falcon,” he said.

“That has happened nowhere else in Mandurah.

“Falcon is the epicentre of the community’s concerns about sharks and this is exactly the reason we responded to try to get a shark barrier installed there in the first place.”

Mandurah mayoral candidate Rhys Williams said he would work with the local council to ensure the delivery of the shark barrier in Falcon if elected mayor.

Council will consider the report on Tuesday night.

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