ALTERNATIVE redevelopment options for Maylands Waterland will be investigated, after the majority of Bayswater Council agreed find a “compromise” for the community.
At last night’s meeting, the council voted 6-5 against Cr Elli Petersen-Pik’s motion to revoke its July budget decision which requested chief executive Andrew Brien progress with an alternative redevelopment option and public consultation.
In the current budget there is $1.5 million in public open space cash-in-lieu funds allocated to the Waterland redevelopment.
Cr Petersen-Pik had also proposed to keep Waterland open for the next two summer seasons to allow the community to seek funding to refurbish some of the pools and defer work on any redevelopment until after the State Election, but it was not voted on.
He said the council could “compromise” with retaining some of the pools’ and look at other options through cash-in-lieu funding.
Cr Barry McKenna said he did not want to shut the Waterland down but instead close it for a year and refurbish the 40-year-old facility as tiles were falling off and posing a risk to children.
The City had estimated a full refurbishment would cost about $3.2 million.
A packed gallery of parents and children listened to emotional deputations presented by seven fellow residents.
During the deputations, councillors asked the residents whether they wanted to keep the pools at Waterland instead of having a water splash pad, similar to the pad at Hyde Park.
Some residents wanted to keep all of the pools while Friends of Maylands Waterland spokesman Josh Eveson presented a hybrid model involving a paid and free pool so the council could utilise its public open space cash-in-lieu funding.
Maylands resident Hannah Biegel described Waterland as an intergenerational facility that helped kids aged zero to 10 years build water confidence before graduating to deeper pools like a Bayswater Waves.
Mayor Dan Bull, who supported the group’s hybrid model, said although Cr Petersen-Pik’s motion was “well-intentioned”, it would not have delivered the best outcome.
“The City’s recent efforts to obtain funding from all levels of government and private industry for the refurbishment of Waterland have been genuine,” he said.
“But honestly, there has been no appetite from investors to simply fix up the facility and it is clear the City will have a better chance of accessing funding if the facility is free and open to the public.
“What I heard from some of the deputations last night was a willingness to compromise on the design of Maylands Waterland, if it means keeping it open into the future.
“It is too early to say what that might look like but keeping a portion of the park open to the public could be the key to unlocking funding.
“I am keen to investigate all options that would result in Waterland remaining open for generations to come.”
In November, Cr Bull announced Waterland will close at the end of this season, if the City loses a funding bid.
The City has applied for funding to refurbish the Waterland via the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ Community Sport and Recreation Facility Fund, with the outcome set to be revealed in February.
The council will consider forming a working group on redevelopment options in March.