Ascot club keen on park plan

Ascot Kayak Club member Margaret Jeffery, whose son Robin competed at the London Olympics, is on the sub-committee for the whitewater park and said the club would be keen to have the course nearby. ‘An artificial whitewater course would be of great benefit to the community by being readily accessible and ideally co-located with other passive or active recreation,’ she said.

A Canoeing WA spokesman said it had an investor now looking for a suitable location in Perth.

The club circulated a two-minute campaign video recently among councils, developers, government departments and landholders.

A Department of Sport and Recreation spokesman said the department was preparing to engage a planning consultant to further refine site requirements and identify potential locations.

City of Belmont Mayor Phil Marks said the council would look into the proposal, after it received a letter from Canoeing WA on April 30.

Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) acting chief executive Ryan Keys said the MRA tested the market for interest from developers and investors but there was ‘insufficient appetite’ to develop a whitewater park near the Champion Lakes Regatta Centre.

Armadale MLA Tony Buti said he was disappointed with the MRA’s decision.

‘As our population grows, it is difficult to believe that a whitewater park in the Perth metro area would not be well patronised,’ Dr Buti said.

‘And it would seem sensible that the park be located at Champion Lakes ” it would fit in well with the world-class rowing and canoeing facilities we already have there.’

In 2010, Canning MHR Don Randall made an election commitment of $5 million towards the $15 million Champion Lakes plan.

‘I find it unusual that Champion Lakes has been deemed unsuitable as it was in the original plan for the precinct, and it was deemed integral to the success of the precinct; that’s the reason it got the environmental go-ahead as the plans were accepted,’ he said.