The Shark Bay Council has voted to support an upgrade of the exterior of the popular RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, which includes a mini-golf course, freestanding walls and new playgrounds. The council gave the plan its unanimous support at its meeting on April 27. The resort was reopened in 2018 after a $20 million redevelopment, expanding the premises from four hectares to nine and accommodation to house up to 1000 guests. The council motion noted the application only related to external works on the Monkey Bar, pool and tennis court area and involved no change to the use of the resort. The redevelopment includes the installation of limestone block walls around the pool replacing current fencing, limestone garden bed retaining walls around the Monkey Bar courtyard and a limestone shack to hold pool equipment south of the courtyard. As well, the proposal includes installing new playground equipment, replacing existing tennis courts with a nine-hole mini-golf course and installing shade sails overtop of the course. The applicant advised the council the freestanding wall provided better acoustics between the pool area and Monkey Bar courtyard and while the tennis court was being replaced, the golf course would provide broader appeal to guests and facilities would be used more often. Shire of Shark Bay president Cheryl Cowell said the council was supportive of the upgrade and did not believe it would cause disruption to tourism. “There’s a few different areas,” she said. “The Monkey Bar has a backpacker area there. Where the bar is, there’s more tourist people there coming for a holiday. “There’s quite a few levels of different accommodation there. Camping, caravans and also units depending on your price range. But it (the upgrades) won’t segregate people. “As a council we are supportive of the upgrade and anything that benefits the tourism in Shark Bay. I think it’s great and if it will enhance the visitor experience, we’re all for it.” The council voted in support of the motion, noting the application had been signed by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and was referred to the Shark Bay World Heritage Advisory Committee for comment.