A new beginning

The start of the new millennium brought planning for Cottesloe Beach back onto the agenda.

Over the years, different proposals for the beach and its surrounding buildings have provoked intense and spirited discussion. The Enquiry By Design (PDF) held in 2008 engaged the community and landowners and highlighted key issues for planning for the beach front including building height, overshadowing of the beach and sea level rise.

While discussions about renewal continued, the beach remained a focus of community activity. In 2005 the first Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe opened. The annual event sees the beach return once again to its early days, packed with thousands of visitors enjoying the special nature of Cottesloe Beach.

In February 2012, the 60th Festival of Perth opened with a dawn celebration on the beach. It began with a Welcome to Country with traditional songs, dance and storytelling on the sand.

A different atmosphere prevailed in February 2014 when thousands of protesters thronged the terraces, objecting to the State Government’s proposal to cull sharks.

2014 Shark cull protestors

In December 2019, after wide consultation with the community, the Cottesloe Council approved the Foreshore Master Plan which will guide development in coming years. Minderoo Foundation, the new lessee of the Indiana, has indicated its intention to either replace or renew the existing building and a new iconic building may be in the wind.

The next decade will see the physical landscape of Cottesloe Beach transformed once more. Councillor Gibbon’s 1907 wish that “all sections of the community should be catered for on the beach” remains as important today as then.

2019 Cottesloe’s new Foreshore Master Plan