School rocks

Large rocks fell 10 metres onto a footpath used by high school and primary school students. Photos by Steve Grant.

A NOTORIOUS stretch of footpath on East Street has been closed after a parent discovered life-threatening rocks had fallen 10 metres from a cliff above.

Kathy Pecotich noticed the rocks while taking her son across the road to John Curtin College of the Arts on Tuesday, but the footpath also runs alongside East Fremantle Primary School.

“This would have killed someone, without question, had it fallen on pedestrians – since 1500 kids would be walking to school in the next half hour, I phoned the ranger for the Town of East Fremantle,” she said.

“He responded immediately.” The footpath has since been closed and pedestrians are forced to use a cycling lane across the road.

Freo council said it was expecting advice from a geotechnical engineer by the end of the week about how to make the cliff face safe.

“We can’t put a timeframe on how long the footpath will be closed, other than to say it will remain closed until the city is satisfied it is safe to reopen,” a council spokesperson said.

A mishmash of reinforcing techniques are testament to the council’s decades-long battle to keep the cliff face safe (one wag’s cemented tag dates one section to 1985).

The last major works in 1985 were almost a disaster when a 10-metre limestone retaining wall which had just been built started peeling away from the cliff and had to be demolished.

By STEVE GRANT

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