Resident’s Shelley Beach Park mission

Resident’s Shelley Beach Park mission

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Robert Duncan Suann has been a JP for 52 years and wants all year around safe swimming and recreation at Shelley Beach Park. Photograph — Aaron Van Rongen.

At 88 years of age, one Rossmoyne resident is on a mission to preserve what he considers to be a uniquely beautiful part of the local area.

Robert Duncan Suann has spent three years advocating to improve public space and water health factors at Shelley Beach Park.

“When I get to be 100 and I’ve only got 12 years to go, my wish is to go to my designated swimming area at Shelley Beach Park and immerse myself safely in the water,” he said.

The local Justice of the Peace has invested most of his time, since 2017, conducting research, sending emails, and attending multiple meetings with the City of Canning looking for a way to redesign the Shelley Beach Park plan.

Mr Suann’s initial step was writing to the City of Canning’s manager business and investment Mark Holdsworth on April 24, 2017, about assessing three main prospects.

“I wrote to the city about my views on increasing its public open space ratio, improve ecological health of its beachfront river foreshore and mitigate prospects for major property damage and preserve the area for 100 years to come,” Mr Suann said.

Mr Suann’s research into Shelley Beach Park shows how the park has drastically changed over the past 70 years.

“The main differences I noticed in Shelley Beach Park evolving, centre around quite rapid erosion of the Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore high water mark to the riverbed up until the loss of all Canning River natural water catchment dams water supply overflows,” he said.

“The bulk of erosion occurred between 1962 and 1977 with some minor foreshore movements effected by expansion of the Water Corporation declared drainage area extension as dwellings and road works progressed with establishment of the Corinthian
Road catchment and Beatrice Avenue tidal river pipe outlets.”

After nearly 20 years, the Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore Management Plan will soon be updated and a draft was open to the public for feedback last year.

Even though the Shelley Beach Park was within the scope of this management plan, it was the only section of the river excluded from the draft.

Mr Suann said he is confounded with the endorsed ‘Urbaqua April 2019 Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore Management Plan.’

“I am confounded and most alarmed that the reserved lands of Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore Beach Park is excluded from the Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore Management Plan,” he said.

“I see this as a once in a life time resident/city opportunity to reclaim eroded Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore, especially after repeated submissions for the city’s consideration on my account, the city has let a brief for park upgrade plans abrogating its corporate values,” he said.

The feedback collected from the city in regards to the Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore Management Plan was mostly positive, but some residents disagreed with the inclusion of a café in the park.

However, Mr Suann has suggested that the park should have recreational areas and recover some of the land lost over the years for the community to engage and think about the future population visiting this spot.

“In looking to future suburb developments in Riverton, Rossmoyne and Shelley there is potential for an improved Shelley Beach reserved land ‘park and recreation’ as a designated swimming location,” he said.

To find out more about the Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore Management Plan proposed draft contact the city.