Life’s a beach

• Erosion of the sea wall at Rous Head. Photo supplied.

BICTON resident PETER MCLARTY has been enjoying Fremantle’s beaches for more than 40 years. He says recently WA authorities have not been doing enough to address erosion and industrial pollution on our coastline.

THIS matter is of concern to every person wanting to see our unique environment preserved for children of the future.

Due to failures of Fremantle Port Authority, all politicians and all authorities employed to protect the environment, an environment disaster is occurring to all beaches North of Rous Head.

The current storm hitting our coast presents an opportunity to highlight the environmental impact of these various failures.

Until 1995 Fremantle Port Authority had absolute control of this land.

As part of the “deal” to install a larger final stage of Rous Head than originally planned, the FPA gave City of Fremantle responsibility for the coast to up to Leighton Beach.

Coincidentally, around this time Caltex, who now owned Ampol and Golden Fleece, wanted their Ampol Tank Farm demolished as well as their Golden Fleece Tank Farm to the North of the Port Beach carpark.

The West Australia Environmental Protection Authority required both sites be cleaned up suitable for for public recreation, under the direction and to the satisfaction of the FPA.

Incredibly, only above-ground infrastructure was completely removed from both sites. Beach sand was dumped on remaining below-ground infrastructure to hide it and planting done to create the illusion of natural sand dunes.

With wind and rain and water erosion over the years, pipes and infrastructure of various kinds have protruded from the sand dunes, including at Sandtrax beach.

Until last year the FPA and City of Fremantle did nothing to remove this pollution. But storms and tides did.

At the Golden Fleece site the present storm rains have washed away all of the sand from the concrete tarmac covering much of the site.

Gravel and waste dumps pollute the rest of the site.

Steel fittings in the concrete indicate pipework or tankage may be underneath.

With various storms over the years many tonnes of this “needlessly left in position” infrastructure has washed into the ocean, including limestone rubble, bitumen, steel wire, steel pipes, asbestos, bricks, roof tiles, wall tiles etc.

Despite complaints to the FPA and City of Fremantle over the years they both did virtually nothing to attempt to remove the potential for this pollution to enter the ocean.

To make matters worse, City of Fremantle have absolutely no idea what they are doing or how to look after a beach environment.

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