Ordinary Council Meeting – 25 August 2020

Initial design steps for Anderson Pavilion’s replacement, Shark Barrier back this summer, and further steps toward ‘The Cove’ surf break path upgrade. And, al fresco plans approved surrounding the Cottesloe Beach Hotel.

Anderson Pavilion (Football Oval, Harvey Field)

Whilst the need for an upgrade of Anderson Pavilion has been clear for while, this project was prioritised by some Councillors in recent Budget workshops, with $1 million in Town funding now set aside for this purpose. The Town hopes to seek State Government funding for the rest, so Council tonight was asked to approve ‘design principles’ in support of such an application, from which concept drawings will now be prepared:

  • 2 new change rooms
  • Storage facility
  • Public toilets including a Universal Access Toilet
  • Kitchen/Canteen
  • Umpire change room

Shark Barrier licence

Council was asked to approve the State licence that allows the ‘shark net’ to be installed in waters off Cottesloe Beach for the next four summers. I was concerned that the licence “Term” was stated as “4 years”, without breaking it up into the summer periods of 1 October to 31 March each year, to ensure the barrier is removed before the long-standing winter surfing season starts on 1 April each year, and similarly, it is installed after it has finished on 30 September each year.

This balance between the different seasonal uses of the beach is important.

I moved an amendment that confirmed Council’s intent to keep this seasonal balance despite the widely framed “4 years” term. This was passed unanimously. However, it is worth noting the words “unless Council resolves otherwise” was requested to be added, to which I agreed, but not without hesitation, for two key reasons:

  1. Council can always change its own decisions, so this change did seem to be unnecessary. It has been made clear to me in the past that such “unnecessary” wording changes are not preferred by the Council, and I have complied with this as one part of the Councillor team (noting however that what might seem superficial may often not be – a lesson I have seen materialise in the legal world many times). It was puzzling then that this change was suggested – despite it being unnecessary.
  2. Following from 1, the inclusion of “unless Council resolves otherwise” (which has not been included in any other Council decisions I can remember) raises the legitimate query as to whether there is an intent to change these dates later on. Only time will tell if the inclusion of unnecessary words will be used to support a change in future.

The Cove steps upgrade

The design for The Cove steps upgrade (technically, Beach Path South 15) has been revised for cost reasons (despite Council in May approving in full the upgrades just south of Indiana at a similarly high cost ($527,998.60) – I’m unclear why The Cove expense was any different, however the Town has worked hard to revise the designs but keeping the upgrade’s intent.

I had previously supported these revisions on the basis that user groups would be asked for their input on scaling back the upgrade. This did occur, but the two main user groups of surfers did not appear to have sought input from their members who actually use the steps. I moved an amendment to seek their input during the detailed design stage, with a view to ‘user buy in’ and benefits to the design, but this simple step was resisted by Councillors.

Cottesloe Beach Hotel al fresco

Following Council’s 2018 approval of the Hotel’s extensions and alterations, approval was sought for a licensed outdoor eating area on John St, Marine Pde and Warnham Rd, with screens for vehicle / weather protection, being an area of 245 square metres with 238 seats. The footpath will become 1.8m (minimum) and two parking bays in John St will become two drop off bays.

Council was advised that despite concerns from residents about noise in 2018, no responses were received on the current proposal. I had queried if it was made known to the 2018 objectors, and whilst I understand it was not specifically made known to them, it was sent to all surrounding neighbours. Council supported the application.

Lastly, two of the petitions accepted by Council last month were actioned this month, with letters to be sent in support of Lady Lawley Cottage and the tree planting on Hamersley Street put on hold pending species review.

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