IF a mining company let the buffer zone around its operations fall apart while exploiting the area within the buffer, conservationists would howl it down in protest.
Yet in Fremantle, the state government built a massive seawall reclaiming 27 hectares of ocean to generate commercial rent and then watched as the Port Beach erosion rate accelerated each year.
In Fremantle, the state also claims a mining royalty on the million tonnes of sea sand mined off the coast annually to feed the mining and construction industries’ appetite for lime products and all without putting a zack into maintaining the buffer zone that has provided a natural recreational asset for generations of metro beachgoers.
Then when it offers a $200,000 pittance in a last-minute and ill-fated limestone wall rescue attempt, local government celebrates alongside, welcoming the “generosity” and matches it dollar for dollar with ratepayers funds.
Given local and state government agencies documented the risk to the community asset and made six recommendations for sand nourishment in 2004, prior to exploiting Rous Head for reward, the rapid demise of Port Beach over the last four winter seasons is a sad chapter in Fremantle’s history.
Beach management has been asleep at the wheel.
LAST Monday in the downpour my car was adrift in the middle of a flooded Johannah Street.
However, not all was lost.
A good samaritan, Matt, came to my rescue.
He waded into the water and, with others who came to hel, pushed the car to safety on the nearby bank.
When I turned to offer my thanks he had disappeared.
So to Matt (and Ash) my deep (no pun intended!) thanks.
Sad coda – my trusty Mazda steed has passed to greener lands.
On Higher Ground