THE opening of the Scarborough Beach Pool has inspired the City of Wanneroo to look at bringing plans for a public pool forward by about 30 years.
Mayor Tracey Roberts successfully put forward a motion on notice at this month’s council meeting to include an aquatic and recreation centre in the City’s advocacy strategy.
Councillors unanimously approved the motion with a view to bring the proposed construction timeframe forward from 2042-46.
They agreed that the Mayor would write to State and Federal ministers highlighting the need for “early provision” of an indoor aquatic and recreation facility in the Alkimos-Yanchep corridor and to investigate opportunities to share facilities with the education sector.
“The provision of an aquatic facility is incredibly important in our community,” Mrs Roberts said.
She said while they did have the ocean, it did not suit everyone, particularly people learning to swim.
Mrs Roberts said the council decision meant the City would look at the types of facilities available and opportunities to build one.
“We need to bring it forward,” she said.
While her report said the cost of such a facility could be about $64.25 million, the Mayor pointed out that the heated outdoor Scarborough Beach Pool had cost $26 million.
Cr Brett Treby said there needed to be a strategic approach to delivering such a facility and noted there was no public pool in the South Ward either.
“We will need one – where it is best placed needs to be considered as well,” he said.
Cr Treby said the project would still have a long timeframe to completion, possibly between seven and 10 years.
Mrs Roberts highlighted the challenge faced by schools, which had to include a two week swimming program in their curriculum.
She said the travel required to get from schools in the North Coast Ward to a public pool in Wanneroo or Joondalup meant a six hour school day could be reduced to one-and-a-half hours, with a negative impact on students.
Cr Lewis Flood, who has advocated for an ocean pool for several years, echoed the concerns for about 8000 school children travelling to swimming lessons.
“Our population is about 212,000 and growing, and our children are travelling over 40km (round trip) to get to swimming,” he said.
Cr Paul Miles said the City only had 25m pools and most clubs needed 50m pools for training, encouraging staff to look at options like the Scarborough pool.
“It’s about time that we bit the bullet and push these dates a lot closer,” he said.
Cr Hugh Nguyen said the North Coast Ward was an ideal area and developers “might put their hand in their pocket” for the project.