Thursday, 23 October 2008
Stirling Electorate: Scarborough Beach
Michael Keenan (Stirling, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations) Share this | Hansard source
Scarborough Beach is on the Sunset Coast, only 15 minutes drive from the centre of Perth. It forms a natural border in the west of my electorate of Stirling. Many happy days are spent by Stirling residents—and, indeed, residents from across Perth—enjoying both the beach and the surrounding amenities. I cannot think of a more beautiful coastline anywhere in Australia. With the summer months approaching, the volunteer surf lifesaving staff at Scarborough Beach are doing increasingly important work, because they save lives. These dedicated people are vital in our community. As the vice-patron of the Western Australian surf lifesaving association and someone who has long been associated with their activities—particularly with the Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club and the Trigg Island Surf Life Saving Club, which is a little further north—I could not imagine the beaches without them.
So it is with great anger and frustration today that I rise to talk about what can only be described as antisocial behaviour at its worst. I am deeply appalled by the actions of a few alcohol fuelled hoons last Sunday at Scarborough Beach. So violent was their behaviour against volunteer surf lifesavers who were trying to assist an underage drinker that they caused the surf lifesavers to fear for their lives and they were forced to abandon their posts. They were verbally abused and had empty bottles thrown at them. This is totally unacceptable behaviour towards any person, but to direct it at volunteer surf lifesavers truly beggars belief. Thank goodness there were no serious incidents in the water at that time, because quite frankly somebody could have drowned. It is critical that the hardworking volunteers are able to carry out their duties on their beaches during the summer months unimpeded by hoons and, quite frankly, idiots. It is the actions of a few people who spoil it for the majority of the law-abiding citizens and families who use the beaches in Stirling.
It is even more distressing that this sort of behaviour is occurring more frequently. Crime is without a doubt one of the top issues of concern to my local community, and I am proud of our achievements—including $150,000 for CCTV cameras to be installed on Scarborough Beach. These will hopefully help to identify the hoons who use it as a racetrack and to prevent antisocial behaviour. I am pleased to be working with Liza Harvey, the new member for Scarborough, who secured during her own election campaign a commitment that an elected Liberal government would provide the local police with two quad bikes that could be utilised for beach patrols during the summer months. I welcome and wholeheartedly support the new state police minister, Rob Johnson. He has met with the police commissioner, Karl O’Callaghan, about the possibility of installing a new mobile policing unit at Scarborough Beach. I have written to the minister and offered my full support. We must do everything we can to stamp out this antisocial behaviour.