Australian Anglers Association, (WA Division) Inc.

Request for Upgrade to North Mole.

The Australian Anglers Association has written to the Fremantle Port Authority asking for an upgrade to fishing spots at North Mole while they are doing repairs to storm damage as covered in their Fremantle Ports North Mole report. We have since received a reply from the Port Authority.

4 February 2004

Mrs Kerry Sanderson
Chief Executive Officer
Fremantle Port Authority,
PO Box 95,Fremantle WA 6959

Dear Mrs Sanderson,

Repairs to North Mole and Improvements for Fishing.

We have recently seen the "North Mole Update" on the Fremantle Ports website which says work will take several more months before the Mole can be reopened to recreational fishing.

Recreational anglers have waited for the reopening of the North Mole for fishing since the damage caused by storms starting in May 2003, and are disappointed at the further delays.

In a recent telephone conversation with Mr Tim Walton, he told me that extensive repairs will be required to the structure of the Mole in some places.

We appreciate that the main purpose of the Mole is as a protective breakwater. However, over the years, the North Mole has become a very important recreational fishing platform used by many people. Even before the storm damage, many of the rocks at suitable heights above the water were not flat and did not provide comfortable places to stand and fish and place fishing gear.

During the major work we understand will be required in the next few months, there is an opportunity for the Mole to be significantly improved as a place to go fishing with minimal, if any, extra cost to the Port Authority.

This can be simply achieved by the placement of some suitable rocks to provide some more level places for people to stand and fish. This can be done as part of the work to repair some of the structure of the Mole, and/or using the equipment likely to be available on the Mole for the repair work.

All that is required are some rocks with horizontal top surfaces placed every few metres along the Mole and at varying heights above the water level to fill in some of the gaps between the existing granite rocks. This would be a great improvement compared to the situation which existed even before the storm damage.

Limestone rocks are preferred for these "fill in" rocks because they provide safe, non-slip surfaces for standing, even when wet. We understand that limestone rocks are not as durable as granite rocks, but this should not be significant if only used as "fill in" rocks as suggested.

Examples of the good surfaces for fishing include the part of the South Mole upgrade in recent years, and many rocks on the Hillarys Boat Harbour north and south walls.

The priority areas for this improvement work are from the disabled platform to the end on the north side and the south side from the end to the opening to the Ferry area, which are the most popular areas for fishing on the main part of the Mole.

If possible, improvements to the north facing wall near the kiosk at the base of the Mole, and the area between the parking area east of the helipad and the disabled platform on the north side would also be appreciated by recreational anglers.

We would be happy to provide some more advice about the requirements and priorities, and to assist with publicity of the Port Authority's work on this among recreational anglers and clubs.

This initiative will fit well with Fremantle Port's publicity on the website, including the Corporate Value to care for the community and the environment, making a positive difference to the community in which it operates, working with the community on issues of mutual interest, the sponsorship program supporting community priorities, and contributing to the community.

Yours sincerely

Terry Fuller
Australian Anglers Association (WA Div) Inc.

We have received a reply from Fremantle Port Authority as follows:-

17 February 2004

Mr Terry Fuller
Secretary, Australian Anglers Association (WA Division) Inc.
PO Box 2200, MARMION WA 6020

Dear Mr Fuller

Thank you for your recent letter concerning suggested improvements to recreational fishing opportunities at the North Mole seawall.

I'm pleased to advise that the contract for works to the North Mole will be signed shortly and we expect the work to be completed eight weeks after commencement.

Although the design document for the works makes up part of the contracting process and therefore does not permit modifications to the design. I have passed your suggestions on to the project manager. He has assured me that wherever possible rocks will be placed in such a way that they provide more horizontal surfaces.

Fremantle Ports recognises that recreational fishing opportunities along the metropolitan coast are limited and the North Mole is an important fishing spot for many in the community. As such we intend maintaining access to area for fishers in the long term. However, we must also ensure that it is maintained in a safe condition.

Please be assured that the area will not remain closed any longer than necessary and that we will be widely publicising its reopening.

Mr Fuller, thank you again for your suggestions and I hope that North Mole will continue to meet the needs of local fishers for the years to come.

Yours faithfully,

Kerry Sanderson
Chief Executive Officer
Fremantle Ports.

Please contact us if you have anything which you can contribute to these comments, or any questions you wish to have raised.

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This page last updated 12 March 2004.