Bayswater south ward councillors fear proposed closure of Maylands Waterland

Bayswater south ward councillors Catherine Ehrhardt and Elli Petersen-Pik at the Maylands Waterland picture: Kristie Lim.
Bayswater south ward councillors Catherine Ehrhardt and Elli Petersen-Pik at the Maylands Waterland picture: Kristie Lim.

MAYLANDS Waterland could be closed and turned into a playground if City of Bayswater draft 2018-19 budget is passed at the July 3 special council meeting, according to south ward councillors.

The site, located at the end of Maylands Peninsula, has five pools of varying depths up to 60cm, a zero depth pad with a fountain, playground, barbecues, a kiosk and a pool pump and plant room.

In the draft budget, $1.5 million in funding has been proposed from the City of Bayswater’s public open space funds to redevelop the 40-year-old site.

An amount of $58,096 in cash-backed reserves to fund the ongoing asset management requirements of the Waterland have also been proposed.

Ratepayers will be facing a proposed 3.5 per cent rate rise, following a 4.95 per cent rate rise in the last financial year.

In response to the Maylands Waterland item in the draft budget, the City advised no decision had been made on any items in the draft budget and it would be inappropriate for Mayor Dan Bull to second guess the council’s decision.

Cr Elli Petersen-Pik said the City’s administration proposed to close the site and build a new big playground.

“No further details on the playground proposal are available at this stage, and councillors will not be asked to commit to it as part of the budget, so all options (including location) will be on the table for Council consideration at another time,” he said.

“Despite it being a 40-year-old facility, and without much promotion or a good cafe, attendance has actually increased over the last three years.

“Such a major, irreversible decision should not be mentioned in one line in the budget papers.”

Cr Catherine Ehrhardt said the majority of the community wanted to keep the Waterland, which was a “community asset”.

“Maylands Waterland is a unique facility in the whole of the State, if not the whole of Australia,” she said.

“It is really important that local governments think about service provision as a core role rather than trying to be a business entity.“If we did that, there would be no Bayswater Waves, which loses around a million dollars a year and is currently in a staged $12 million redevelopment and we certainly wouldn’t have any libraries or such.”

In 2016, the City spent $50,000 on community consultation before spending $20,000 on the design phase for the refurbishment work of the site in December 2017.