Surf’s up for summer?

PERTH’S first surf simulator, which guarantees a rideable wave, will open at Port Beach by the end of the year if all goes well for the developer.

Fremantle council this week released detailed designs of a plan to build a “temporary” 1600sqm water sports centre—complete with a wave simulator, cafe, showers, carpark and clothing store—about 50m north of Salt on the Beach restaurant. The centre will consist of custom-fitted shipping containers.

The plan, by Flow House, needs support from local residents over the next fortnight before it gets the council’s green light in May or June.

Council economic development manager Tom Griffiths says if the project is approved Flow House is likely to get a 10-year lease, costing it $80,000 per year.

“Having this in Fremantle will bring with it significant social and economic benefits while having a low impact on the environment given the structures are able to be easily moved,” he says.

Local Sue Harrington filed a complaint to the council this week about its “poor” community consultation process. A sign went up at Port Beach on Friday March 20, asking locals to comment on the council website, which was not possible until March 30.

Ms Harrington is concerned the development site, a former fuel depot and makeshift car park, is too close to sand dunes and the bay to be environmentally viable.

The centre would be just metres from the beach.

“I would recommend new developments—with the exception of surf livesaving clubs—to be built further inland,” says Ms Harrington, who has campaigned for more than a decade for a stringent, environmentally sensitive plan for the local coast.

“Plonking this here, near the dune system, is just going to further degrade the area.”

In a document Flow House says, ”We are conscious of the need to develop a venue that is environmentally friendly. As a result, the structures we will be putting in place … are of a temporary nature. Currently, there is very little vegetation on site.”

The company plans to plant more trees and shrubs to reduce “existing” erosion.

Flow House spokeswoman Kaila Milne says the development will not encroach on the beach nor nearby sand dunes, and will allowing unfettered public access to the bay.

WA’s only other wave simulator is at Kalgoorlie’s Goldfields Oasis Recreational Centre. Flow House has similar attractions in the UK, US and Thailand.

To comment visit and head to the community engagement page.

Submissions close Friday, April 15.


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3 responses to “Surf’s up for summer?

  1. These things are a joke. They aren’t waves, they are just a thin water jet pushed over a berm. You don’t move anywhere and they are more akin to wakeboarding than surfing.

  2. Just read the proposal – total fluff. This is from the safety section – “Its propriety nature helps absorb the most extreme of impacts
    and makes you come back for more.”

  3. I didn’t realise this is actually on the beach side of the road. The noise from these things is very significant – putting something like this next to a beach is perhaps the dumbest idea I have ever heard. The owners of salt on the beach can’t be happy.

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