CURRENTLY the haunt of illegal 4WDrivers, dumpers and an invasive weed, the limestone ridge above Port Coogee could become a leafy golf course if Kevin Allen gets his way.
The west warder is re-contesting his seat in the October elections and says a Cockburn Coast links will be high on his agenda if he’s successful.
“I first brought this to council in 2005/06 by introducing it onto the council’s plan for the district at that time,” Cr Allen says.
But since then the project’s been stalled, he says because Cockburn Arc’s predicted budget of $33 million ballooned to $110m, hoovering up any available cash.
But with the Arc now complete, this year the council set aside $100,000 in its budget for a feasibility study.
The land is currently vested in Main Roads as a potential new route for a widened Cockburn Road, but according to just about everyone except the department, that’s now off the agenda.
Cr Allen, a 16-handicapper himself, says he’s worried that if the council doesn’t start driving the project, the state government might be tempted to raise some cash for itself by flogging off the land for housing.
Logistically a golf course would be a bit of a nightmare, as the ridge is almost solid rock and gets blasted by the Fremantle doctor, so establishing trees and grass won’t be easy. And the only way to fit 18 holes would be to split up the course on either side of Ocean Road. But Cr Allen says these days just about anything’s achievable.
“The work on the golf course could also incorporate tree planting or replanting of local trees along the greens such as banksia that would link in with and enhance the Cockburn Wildlife Corridor and other species consistent with the coastal plane,” he says.
Golf courses have suffered some PR damage over recent years as many councils query spending so much money on a sport that sucks up a lot of water and is seen as a bit of a preserve of old blokes.
But Cr Allen says the Port Coogee development traps a lot of the natural groundwater flow, and that could be used to water the course.
He says there will also be strong demand, as Cockburn’s only other course, Glen Iris is miles away and privately owned.
Fremantle and Kwinana have the only two other public courses nearby.
by STEVE GRANT