Calls for an inquiry into creating an artificial reef for surfers between Mullaloo and Ocean Reef have been answered.
Joondalup Council has asked officers to prepare an options report to develop a surf and fishing reef concept between Mullaloo Point and the newly constructed south breakwater at Ocean Reef Marina.
This follows the inclusion of an artificial reef in the concept marina plans which were announced for public consultation in 2009, but it was later removed due to potential costs, which at the time were estimated to be around 7 millions of dollars.
Mayor Albert Jacob, who requested the report, said while he understood why the reef was abandoned, he believed there was still merit in exploring the concept.
“There is very strong local support from netizens, including an online petition which has received some 2,000 signatures,” he said.
“We’re also going to start to see a significant mass of sand start to build up between Mullaloo Point and Ocean Reef Marina over the next 10 years or so and we’re going to have a new beach.
“This presents an opportunity at this location to investigate a surf break. Mullaloo Point is probably our most popular surf beach in town and a break directly north of it would at least double the recreational surfing capacity.
He said it would be “more like a winter break given the passing swell”, and would also be a popular fishing spot on the beach. It would also benefit snorkelers and snorkelers.
Ocean Reef surfers want an artificial reef
Mr Jacob said he had discussed the idea with state officials and they were “open to the concept”, with the report expected to include initial costs of possible designs.
“If it develops further, it’s something we would expect the state to commit to,” he said.
“This is just a call for a report to investigate the concept, put some rigor around it, and test the community.
“While it’s not something the council would build, it’s unlikely the state will start it from scratch. They will seek the council to show that there is strong local support.
The request was approved 9-3, with councilors Russell Poliwka, Daniel Kingston and John Raftis opposed.
Cr Poliwka said that was not the council’s role and that those claiming the reef should contact the state government themselves.
“It’s not at all close to our core business or something that we should be prioritizing,” he said.
“We’re going to create an expectation for surfers and others that we’re going to be champions of this. We cannot afford it and it is not our role.
Surfers continue to call for an artificial reef
Ahead of last year’s mayoral election, Mr Jacob had flagged the artificial reef as one of his “top four project priorities for the next four years”.
Surfers have been campaigning for a year for an artificial reef to create a surf break, with the construction of the marina redevelopment having seen all three of Ocean Reef’s breaks – Mossies, Big Rock and Pylons – lost.