The West

The City of Cockburn is considering an ocean swimming pool between Coogee Beach and the Island Street groyne in response to the recent WA shark attacks.

The council last night voted unanimously to earmark funds in its 2013-14 budget for a detailed feasibility study on a pool that could be built into the foreshore or set behind dunes, with three possible locations identified.

Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett said councillors also suggested the old South Fremantle power station site as a possible location.

"There are old cooling ponds at the site which could be used for either chlorinated or saltwater pools," Mr Howlett said.

"Any chance to preserve the heritage of the power station site is a real opportunity for the city."

Ocean pools are popular in the Eastern States but none exists in WA. However, five fatal WA shark attacks in less than a year have fuelled debate about whether the State should embrace them.

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan, who says the shark attacks are keeping people away from the beach, has pledged to construct three in the first term of a Labor government.

The State Government has signalled it is not opposed to the concept of ocean pools but questions whether they are a solution to the shark problem.

The report to council identified the most favourable options as the south side of the Port Coogee marina, within the Cockburn coast development at the proposed Robb Jetty beach node or adjacent on the south side to the Island Street groyne.

"The potential benefit for the community of the installation of an ocean pool is that it would provide a convenient location to enjoy swimming in a sea side setting without the risk of strong currents, dumping waves or adverse encounters with marine creatures, including sharks," the report said.

"A survey of residents has not been carried out, however . . . there appears to be a fair proportion of the community that want to swim but are concerned about sharks in our waters. It is probable that the creation of a 'safe' swimming location in the form of an ocean pool will be well received by beachgoers."

'There appears to be a fair proportion of the community that want to swim but are concerned about sharks.'"

  • City of Cockburn * Report to
The West Australian

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