Bayswater councillors prioritise location over safety for Maylands Waterland

Picture: Maylands Waterland/Facebook
Picture: Maylands Waterland/Facebook

BAYSWATER council has chosen location over safety in a list of priorities for the future of a Maylands water park.

Council moved to start community consultation on the future of Maylands Waterland in July, after a report found it would cost $2.7 million to make the ageing facility’s structures, plant and amenities compliant.

The facility had to be shut down twice in the 2014-15 season for urgent maintenance and water quality control.

Council took part in a survey and workshop to set criteria parameters for options of the future of Waterland.

The top five criteria chosen were financial affordability, amenity, identity, functionality and safety.

Councillor Catherine Ehrhardt successfully amended the priorities, taking out “safety” and replacing it with “location”.

She said the location of facility in Maylands was very important and all new buildings already had to comply with strict safety standards.

“Good luck trying to build something in this day and age that doesn’t meet safety and building standards,” she said.

Cr Dan Bull said the facility was an important asset to the community.

“Maylands Waterland is entwined in the identity of Maylands,” he said.

However, Cr Chris Cornish said he was concerned about not looking at other locations.

“If we’re going to go to community consultation, I don’t like limiting what they could come back to us with,” he said.

Cr Stephanie Coates said she would support the community’s decision, whether that was to upgrade at same site, improve Bayswater Waves instead or create something similar to Matilda Bay or Hyde Park.

“Not all ratepayers go to it, but all ratepayers pay for it,” she said.

The City will now host community workshops.

Also at the meeting, council requested a report into the costs of extending opening hours by one hour per day from January, following a petition from Maylands Residents and Ratepayers Association.

The park currently opens 10am to 5pm.

Raised by Cr Ehrhardt, increasing operating hours by one hour a day for a whole season would cost the City $20,336 more, which would add to an existing budgeted loss of $271,152 in 2016-17.

Cr Ehrhardt said 125 people had so far voted in a poll she set up, with 8am a preferred opening time and an extension to 7pm a “close second”.

Council will decide on the extended hours’ trial at a meeting in December.