Frenchman Bay trail gets tick

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
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Frenchman Bay Association's Richard Vogwill and Max Angus.
Camera IconFrenchman Bay Association's Richard Vogwill and Max Angus. Credit: Picture: Shannon Smith, Shannon Smith Albany Advertiser

The City of Albany has endorsed a plan by the Frenchman Bay Association to create a heritage trail showcasing the area’s rich history.

The stalled concept plan and feasibility study was approved at last week’s council meeting after a public consultation period in August.

The public comment period came back with 28 submissions, with only two in opposition to the plan.

One of the objectors said there were “enough trails on the peninsula” and the environment should be preserved.

The trail is proposed to loop along Whalers Beach through bushland, with viewing platforms and interpretative signs along the way for historical landmarks.

The plan has been in the works since 2015 where it was first estimated to cost $380,000.

Now, the FBA has been given the green light to progress to the design phase and pursue funding to bring its vision to life.

FBA’s Richard Vogwill said that they would create detailed designs.

“We have to get money to start the detailed design phase, and I think one of the aspects will be sharpening up on the budget,” he said.

“We will form a committee within the FBA and we will organise grant money.”

Mr Vogwill said there was a lot of history to be absorbed along a small stretch of beach.

“The area is rich in European history and probably rich in Aboriginal history, too,” he said.

“It is the perfect place for a heritage trail because there was a big whaling station there, and there were supplies brought in there during the First World War. There is shipwrecks and more, and that is why we have to build this. Now, I don’t think that anybody knows about the history is there.”

He said the FBA had been working closely with the Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence to maximise the chance of the trail becoming a reality.

“We have had a few meetings with GSCORE and they have included the trail in one of their big trails that goes from the Albany town to Discovery Bay,” he said.

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