City admits it was wrong on Bent St ramp

Aiden BoyhamSound Telegraph
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Mayor Barry Sammels has apologised on behalf of the City of Rockingham for problems stemming from dredging at the Bent Street boat ramp at a community meeting on the Waikiki Beach foreshore last Friday.

More than 100 residents attended the meeting, which was called after residents widely condemned the City’s decision to pump dredged sand from Bent Street towards Waikiki Beach, saying the decision had turned a once “pristine” white beach into a “grey wasteland” beachgoers had been unable to use this summer.

During the meeting, Mr Sammels revealed dredging had now finished and said plans had been put in motion to return the beach to its original state.

“We are sorry, we got it wrong,” he said.

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“Planning should have considered the amenity impact and not just the structural or environmental impact.”

As part of the remediation, the City will remove the grey sand and have it replaced with whiter sand.

A trial section will initially be prepared, with residents to be consulted again to determine if the works are acceptable before more work is carried out.

The cost of the remediation works is expected to be about $200,000 — a similar cost to what it would have been had the dredged sand been removed in the first place.

Residents applauded the announcement but were still concerned about whether dredging in the area would happen again in the future.

“What’s happening with the boat ramp? … Are we going to be doing the same thing again in three years time?” one resident asked.

Others vented their frustration and accused the City of caring more about the Rockingham Beach Foreshore than the beaches in Warnbro Sound.

“This would never have happened in front of Sunsets,” one resident shouted during the meeting.

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