Federal Election 2019: Pearce candidates promise funds for Alkimos pool

Stock Picture.
Stock Picture.

A CAMPAIGN for a public pool in the north coast corridor has yielded funding promises ahead of the Federal Election.

The City of Wanneroo is seeking $40 million to develop an aquatic facility within the Alkimos regional open space as part of its Connect Wanneroo campaign.

Pearce MHR Christian Porter this week said the Liberal party would provide $5 million if re-elected on May 18.

“$5 million is what the City of Wanneroo needs to plan the pool and get this important project underway,” he said.

“This investment means the people living in the suburbs of Butler, Clarkson, Quinns Rocks, Merriwa, Alkimos and surrounding suburbs will be one step closer to having a state of the art public swimming pool.

“As a dad, I know how hard it is to get our kids into swimming lessons in our northern suburbs,” Mr Porter said.

“Our community has been crying out for this pool.”

A spokeswoman for candidate Kim Travers said Federal Labor had committed $400,000 towards the first stage of the project to accelerate the development of detailed project design, architectural drawings, first stage construction and engineering.

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts welcomed the commitment for funding from Labor which would help the council finalise the design of a swimming pool for rapidly growing communities within the City.

“Our community has strongly supported the need for a swimming pool and this announcement brings the delivery a step closer to becoming a reality,” Mrs Roberts said.

The push for a pool has attracted community support, with more than 6000 people signing petitions for it since the council agreed to look at bringing the construction date forward from 2042-46.

At the April council meeting, Mayor Tracey Roberts cited a Surf Life Saving report that there were 110 coastal drowning deaths in 2017 to emphasise the importance of a facility where people could learn to swim.

The mayor said 41 per cent of the City’s population was born overseas and many of those people could not swim or had not swim in the ocean before.

“We can’t wait over a quarter of a century for when that swimming pool is developed,” she said.

Cr Nat Sangalli said the facility would help young children, immigrants, people with disabilities, schools and people of all ages.

Aquamotion.

Cr Dot Newton said it would take strain off Aquamotion, as well as providing a state-of-the-art facility.

Cr Linda Aitken’s suggestion that it could be co-located with an urban surf facility was rejected by Cr Brett Treby who said a private wave park did not have any place near a public pool.

“Why would a surfer want to swim in artificial surf when there’s a beach right there?” Cr Newton added.

An April council report said there was no public aquatic facility north of Aquamotion within the City and the closest pool was in Joondalup.

“Current population projections indicate that by 2031, the population north of Butler and Jindalee to Two Rocks inclusive will be approximately 89,000 people,” the report said.

The City plans to allocate $50,000 in its 2019-20 budget to further develop site specific concepts and approvals based on the outcome of the needs and feasibility study.

Through Connect Wanneroo, the City is requesting $40 million to develop a facility within the Alkimos regional open space with a 50m heated outdoor pool and a toddler pool.

The advocacy factsheet said the facility would cater for recreational swimmers, school students doing water-based sports such as water polo and competitive swimming, elite sports and competitions.

“Learning to swim is crucial for students given the coastal position of the City,” it said.

“It is important people know how to survive in the water.”

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