Weed build-up annoys locals

Gareth McKnightSouthern Telegraph
The West logo

A Warnbro resident has spoken out about the build-up of seaweed on a Rockingham beach, saying it needs to be cleared if the city is to maximise tourism.

Lawrie Niven is a long-term resident and remembers Waikiki beach – opposite the former Waikiki Hotel site – winning awards for its cleanliness.

However, he claims that in recent years the beach has been neglected and beachgoers have been put off by the build-up of seaweed.

“People travelling past in caravans or cars used to stop and have their morning tea at the beach or go for a swim — tourists are now just driving past,” Mr Nevin said.

“It is a shame — a lot of people still use this but the time is going to come where people won’t.

“In the last three to four years Warnbro has been overlooked.”

Mr Nevin said the City of Rockingham should clean the beach, as it does Rockingham Foreshore.

“It is passing the buck — no one wants to claim it.

“Someone has to take responsibility because this is a big part of Rockingham,” he said.

“If they leave it, no one will want to come here if you can’t even find a spot to put your towel down due to seaweed.”

Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said the City received few complaints regarding the beach and because Warnbro Sound was part of the Shoalwater Marine Park, removing the seaweed was not an option.

“Beach cleaning on Rockingham Beach foreshore is done specifically to remove litter left behind by beach users or deposited by wave action,” he said.

“The amount of sea grass (wrack) removed during this process is very minor compared to the amount of waste material removed.

“As only a very small amount of litter is deposited on Safety Bay foreshore, beach cleaning would be an ineffective use of the City’s resources.

“The volume of wrack deposited on Safety Bay foreshore is a significant portion of the material generated by sea grass meadows in the Shoalwater Marine Park (SMP), so this area is the prime source of food and nutrients for the marine park.

“Beach-cleaning activities would damage these deposits. Given the significant decline in seagrass meadows in Cockburn Sound there is a need to protect the seagrass meadows and natural processes in Warnbro Sound.

“The City’s management practice on the Safety Bay foreshore is to continue allowing natural processes to deposit, move and remove the wrack because of the significant environmental benefits that result.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails