Middleton Beach will not be without a shark net for long after Premier Mark McGowan pledged up to $200,000 to fund its replacement, a week before it is set to be removed from Ellen Cove. Visiting Albany on Tuesday, Mr McGowan said the popular, safe swimming spot was a drawcard for many people. “Clearly Albany has the demand,” he said. “It gives people comfort, it gives people peace of mind, and it ensures that you can swim safely. “It’s meant that lots of people are able to swim and enjoy the ocean all year round without any fear of sharks.” The cash promise comes two weeks after Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington announced the enclosure would be removed because storms had caused the net to come away from the ocean floor. The enclosure was installed for a three-year trial in 2016, at a cost of $340,000, of which the State Government contributed $200,000. Calls to fund a new shark net emerged in May last year, when it was understood a new net could cost up to $800,000. But Mr Wellington said the new enclosure was now expected to cost a maximum of $400,000. The City of Albany will cover half of the costs and be responsible for its maintenance. Mr Wellington said a swimming enclosure was a “much better” option than other shark mitigation measures such as drum lines. “It is something that is very important to us it and has become a bit iconic in Albany,” he said. “The people who come here love it and the locals love it.” Mr Wellington said the new net needed to last a minimum of five years. “When you put something in the ocean, especially down here, it is a very strong environment and we need something that is going to last,” he said. He said the City would now ramp up the tendering process and hoped to have a new enclosure installed “almost straight away”.