Pool pledge ramps up pitch for Collier Park aquatic facility

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Swan MP Steve Irons at Collier Park Golf Course, where the South Perth aquatic centre is proposed to be built.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Swan MP Steve Irons at Collier Park Golf Course, where the South Perth aquatic centre is proposed to be built.

PART of Collier Park Golf Course is almost certain to make way for a long-desired South Perth aquatic and recreation centre as the first funding domino was proffered last week.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg visited Collier Park on Wednesday to offer $20million to help the City of South Perth build a $73million facility similar to the multi-award winning Cockburn ARC, if the Liberals are re-elected on May 18.

It would include a 50m pool, multiple other swimming areas and six to eight basketball courts and could be built within four years, pending contributions from the State Government and other touted partners such as Curtin University.

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The council is yet to make a final determination on the aquatic centre location but South Perth chief executive Geoff Glass described the Lakes nine on the 27-hole golf course as the most viable and preferred site.

“Economically, in terms of catchment, ability to partner, it sort of ticks all those boxes so that’s why this is the preferred location,” he said.

The council owns the Collier Park land and has a vision for an aquatic centre and redeveloped golf course to become the centrepiece of a major sporting precinct in Como reaching from Curtin University’s hockey facility to the Wesley playing fields.

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Collier Park Golf Course

South Perth mayor Sue Doherty conservatively estimated 1,000,000 people would use the aquatic centre each year, including Curtin University students, South Perth locals and residents from neighbouring areas of Victoria Park and Canning.

It could also offer fitness facilities for elite hockey players based at the university and courts for Perth Redbacks basketballers and Clontarf students.

“It’s a significant win for the city and it’s been something the community has long wanted,” Ms Doherty said at the funding announcement.

Curtin University vice chancellor Deborah Terry said students would appreciate the aquatic centre being built close to the campus and expected it would also help pull future overseas students.

“We have about 30,000 students who study on the campus and they will make terrific use of this new facility,” she said.

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Swan MHR Steve Irons said research had made it apparent the pool needed to be close to other sporting facilities and suitable for elite sporting bodies to use.

“The feasibility study funded by the Coalition Government, completed in 2015, showed the project is financially viable and would be ideally situated in the Karawara/Como precinct to leverage the population and resources at Curtin University,” he said.

Labor’s Federal candidate for Swan Hannah Beazley has been contacted for comment but had not committed to matching any aspect of the aquatic centre funding by Thursday morning.

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