Shark barrier in doubt
Funding issue: Eco Shark Barrier chief Craig Moss. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

WA's first shark barrier may not be back in place next summer because of disagreement over who should fund it.

The City of Cockburn is asking the State Government to fund half the estimated $130,000 a year cost of testing the locally designed underwater barrier at Coogee beach for another three years.

The barrier was tested from December to last month after a series of shark attacks and deemed a success, with no reported damage to marine life and positive feedback from swimmers.

Cockburn wants it reinstalled in September but the company behind the invention, Eco Shark Barrier, will not fund an extension of the trial and the council has baulked at shouldering the cost alone. Instead it will seek the Government's backing and has proposed to match it up to $75,000 a year. Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett said the reinstallation of the barrier would need to be reconsidered if government funding could not be found.

A Department of Premier and Cabinet spokesman said Eco Shark Barrier had applied for funding through the Office of Science and the shark hazard advisory research committee in 2012, only to withdraw after partnering with Cockburn.

Eco Shark Barrier chief Craig Moss said feedback from other beachfront councils, including Cottesloe, Rockingham and Fremantle, was that installing the barrier would be difficult without government support.

The West Australian

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