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It may be 50 minutes out of Perth but Rockingham beach has been awarded the state’s cleanest beach for 2010.

Its dive trails and interaction with its naval history made it a popular spot for visitors, while installation of big underground filter tanks helped protect the ocean from storm water pollutants, according to environment minister Donna Faragher.

“In addition to this, rehabilitation works have been integrated into the dune system to protect the foreshore against the heavy storm surges that occur in winter,” ” Ms Faragher said.

Rockingham Beach also won the Resource Management and Friendly Beach awards for making use of its assets and hosting community festivals.

Port Hedland’s Pretty Pool and Cemetery beaches picked up the Community Action award for the efforts of local business and residents to reduce litter and for a turtle monitoring program.

Gnaraloo Station, north of Carnarvon, earned the Environment Protection award for its efforts in looking after Gnaraloo Beach and its flora and fauna, including loggerhead and green turtles.

The Litter Prevention award went to Bill’s Bay at the Ningaloo Marine Park.

Rockingham Beach will represent WA in the 2011 national Clean Beaches Awards to be held in Perth in March next year.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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DAILY shark patrols will begin next month as part of a $1.1million plan by Surf Lifesaving WA to keep beachgoers safe this summer.

Surf Lifesaving spokesman Chris Peck said $500,000 would be spent keeping the Westpac rescue helicopter in the air for three hours every day from mid-December to the end of February.  This year’s safety plan also included spending $600,000 on 30 emergency response points at secluded beaches and 27 beach surveillance cameras. And 4300 lifesavers will patrol beaches.

It is a significant investment in using technologies to combat coastal incidents, Mr Peck said.  It is the biggest presence we have ever had. Mr Peck said the State Government had agreed to provide thousands of dollars to help operate daily helicopter patrols.  The helicopter will fly for three hours between 6.30am and 2pm.

He said the public wanted more beach patrols in summer, with many people unhappy that aerial shark patrols had operated only on weekends and public holidays.  Mr Peck said ideally aerial patrols would operate five hours a day, but there wasn’t enough money to keep the helicopter in the air longer.

I think the pressure probably came from the public to have a service mid-week, he said.  The fact that something is up there (the helicopter) looking after them gives people a sense of security.  I would have liked another two hours so that we were flying five hours a day.  It would have enabled us to spread our patrol coverage a little more broadly.

Mr Peck said the use of emergency response points and surveillance cameras would help save lives. The response points are like emergency freeway phones.  Beachgoers can push the button and say to an operator I have seen a shark, someone is caught in a rip so we can get a team to that beach quickly he said.  The beach surveillance cameras don’t just take images, they gather data.  Whether it’s looking for sharks or missing people in the water, it has the functionality to assist as a third eye.

Source www.news.com.au

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A BUSHFIRE is threatening homes near the WA Kimberly coast town of Broome and residents have been told to head for the beach.

The blaze has so far blackened some 15,000 hectares and houses in Coconut Wells, about 18km from Broome, are now at risk, says the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) says.

Residents who abandoned their homes were advised to go to the beach as the blaze has also begun to close in on Morrel Park and Lullfitz.

“It may be hours before it is safe to return home so take water, food and sun protection,” FESA said in a statement.

“People who have decided to stay and defend their home should prepare for the fire.”

Residents have been told to close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative airconditioners.

The FESA says 25 volunteer fire and rescue service and bushfire service firefighters from two brigades are involved in the operation.

They saved six homes yesterday and extra crews are being flown in.

Road closures are in place and motorists have been urged to drive slowly.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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 Seal on Floreat Beach

Dog walkers on Floreat Beach had the pleasure of sharing the sand with a sleeping seal this morning.

An early morning walker reported the seal was taking a nap on the beach about 8.30am when she came across the discovery.

Last month, several migrating sub-Antarctic fur seals were sighted at beaches in Hillarys, Fremantle and Jurien

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WITH a new manager running a very tight ship, and a new chef in the kitchen armed with a new menu, Oceanus on the Beach in City Beach has undergone something of a renaissance in recent months.

Since moving to Perth from his native Scotland, chef John Martin has run kitchens at the likes of the old Campo De’fiori in Applecross and the Royal Perth Golf Club as well as his own Wembley restaurant, ultimately selling the business to spend more time with his growing family.

Martin said the first thing he did was change the Oceanus’ menu to something more in tune with the beachside restaurant’s oceanic surrounds.

“The last chef went sort of 90 per cent meat on the menu, and I thought, we’re surrounded by water here, so I went back to about 80 per cent seafood, 20 per cent meat,” he said.

“There’s nothing on the menu that I’m not proud of.” Martin – who was originally trained in French cooking – said simplicity was an important part of his culinary ethos.

 “I go for the good taste and the flavour and I tell the staff in the kitchen to keep it simple ,” he said.

 “You get a lot of chefs that put too many flavours in; complex flavours, and you end up with this mish-mash on your plate.

” Another recent addition to Oceanus is manager Paul Fox, brought in by owner Tom Galopoulos. Fox said he arrived at the restaurant shortly after Martin.

“All I’ve done is just streamline the staff to make sure the service is at a level where it should be, that all the staff are fully professional and really compatible with the industry,” he said.

“I’m teaching my staff the three things I find lacking most in the industry – complex flavours, and you end up with this mish-mash on your plate and, to let people know that the menus are suggestions.

“If you like the sound of the fish of the day, but you don’t want the mashed potatoes with it, we will ask what would you like with it?

“Products in the fridge are there to be used and the chef is there to cook the food that you want to eat.”

Oceanus is also introducing some dinner shows later in the year, with pub-rock legends Mental as Anything dropping in as part of their 30th anniversary tour, as well as a show by Richard Clapton.

Source  :  www.inmycommunity.com.au

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WA police believe the body of a man found washed up on a beach near Bunbury is that of German backpacker Jan-Christian Bielenberg who had been missing for more than two weeks.

South West police Detective Senior Sergeant Kylie Whiteley said this afternoon that although the body had not yet been formally identified, it was likely that of 20-year-old Mr Bielenberg.

“At this point we are still attempting to formally identify the male,” Senior Sergeant Whiteley said.

How sad, the rest of this article is on  www.watoday.com.au

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The public are being asked not to approach whales during their annual migration.

Several whales have been spotted near Perth, off Ocean Reef over the weekend.

Whales often seek out protected waters close to shore and if people harass them they are likely to leave the area.

Whales are not accustomed to people, and may defend themselves when approached.

People who get up close on surfboards and boats are at particular risk, as these whales may react violently, which can result in serious injury or death.

In Western Australia, boats must be within 100m of a whale by law.

You need to keep your distance so they can continue their journey without interference.

People should be able to enjoy the spectacular sight of  whales off Perth’s shores for the next few weeks.

If boats and surfers keep their distance, we can all get a view of these creatures from the beach as they pass through our waters.

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