Crime puts beach carpark at risk

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
A vehicle in the Warnbro Foreshore Reserve car park went up in flames in the early hours of the morning on November 11.
Camera IconA vehicle in the Warnbro Foreshore Reserve car park went up in flames in the early hours of the morning on November 11. Credit: Arno Staub

The Warnbro Foreshore Reserve carpark could be permanently closed next year after a spate of crime and escalating antisocial behaviour in the area.

The City of Rockingham has been forced to reconsider the use of the carpark adjacent to La Seyne Crescent after it received 41 reports over the last two years about incidents involving drugs, graffiti, rubbish dumping, hooning and “general negative behaviour” in the area. There were also complaints about poor lighting.

The Sound Telegraph last month reported a vehicle in the carpark went up in flames in the early hours of November 11, with Rockingham Fire and Rescue called to the scene.

A Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said the fire appeared to have been deliberately lit and caused an estimated $10,000 damage.

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At the December 17 ordinary council meeting Cr Leigh Liley moved the committee recommendation to direct City of Rockingham chief executive Michael Parker to undertake an assessment of the carpark and a community engagement on the proposed closure.

She also proposed the addition of a point to the motion directing the chief executive to investigate the removal of brush and vegetation surrounding the carpark to allow for surveillance by security teams, including police and the community.

Cr Liley said the area was becoming “increasingly unsafe” for residents, attracting unwanted antisocial behaviour. It also posed a fire risk.

She said many beachgoers avoided the carpark because of the lack of security.

“The community don’t use the carpark because they feel unsafe and are too scared to go down there,” she said.

The removal of the brush would give the community security in the carpark while the assessment was undertaken, she said.

Cr Matthew Whitfield spoke against the alternative motion, saying councillors hadn’t been given adequate time to consider the issue and the amendment.

The alternative motion was carried 7-4 with Cr Whitfield, Cr Hayley Edwards, Cr Joy Stewart and Cr Barry Sammels voting against.

The retention of the La Seyne carpark or its temporary or permanent closure will be out for public comment for 42 days through February and March.

A report will be presented to the council after the proposed consultation process.

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