Hillarys: health and wellbeing hub gets Lotterywest funding boost

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson presents the Lotterywest grant to Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson presents the Lotterywest grant to Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob.

A HEALTH and wellbeing hub proposed for Hillarys, which would include a fitness staircase similar to Jacob’s Ladder, is another step closer with the City of Joondalup receiving a Lotterywest funding boost.

The $719,266 grant will provide vital funding for elements of the project that will revitalise the park into a regional play space, including new drinking fountains and bottle refill stations, picnic shelters and park furniture, as well as outdoor fitness equipment.

The hub, expected to cost about $1.6 million, will also incorporate the construction of a fitness staircase on the northern dune and upgrades to running tracks and the existing path network.

Community consultation for the project undertaken in late-2017 showed 87 per cent of respondents strongly supported or supported the overall proposal.

Last February, the City allocated $810,000 towards the project in its five-year capital works budget, with the hope of securing the remainder through funding from Lotterywest and the Federal Government.

A concept plan of what the health and wellbeing hub may look like.

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said the City welcomed Lotterywest’s support and looked forward to continuing to work on bringing the project to fruition.

“The health and wellbeing hub at Whitfords Nodes Park is a high priority for the City of Joondalup and an eagerly anticipated project in the local community, and we are very fortunate that Lotterywest has provided a vital source of support,” he said.

“The City is committed to fostering active and healthy lifestyle opportunities for the local community.

“Attracting visitors to our City is also a priority and this project will not only enhance the amenity and usability of the park for local residents, it will also draw substantial visitor traffic from outside the northern corridor.”

Lotterywest chief executive Susan Hunt said they were proud to help support West Australians to live healthy lifestyles.

“With the new development, Whitfords Nodes Park will no doubt become a popular destination for the community to be active together outdoors, taking advantage of our wonderful West Australian climate,” she said.

The City will continue to seek Federal funding for the project and construction on the hub could start in the 2019-20 financial year.

An artist impression of the proposed fitness staircase.

Moore MHR Ian Goodenough has already thrown his weight behind the project.

“We are lucky enough to live along a remarkable stretch of coastline and this project will provide an opportunity for locals to enjoy it while improving their overall health and wellbeing,” he said.

“I have spoken with the Minister for Sport, Bridget Mckenzie, to support the City of Joondalup’s funding application via the Community Sport Infrastructure Program.

“The City is eligible for $500,000 through the program, which is focused on upgrading facilities that help build participation in physical activity, community partnerships and inclusiveness.

“I have highlighted to the minister the health and wellness benefits this project provides while building community spirit in the local area.”

Dubbed the ‘Jacob’s Ladder of the north’, the fitness staircase was proposed by the Harbour Rise Home Owners Association in 2012.

It was first considered by the council in 2014 then again in 2016 where the council supported uts construction subject to external funding.

It is expected to be 21m in height, the equivalent to seven storeys.