Pool pres­sure rises

SINK OR SWIM FOR AQUATIC CEN­TRE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page - Tim Mayne

DE­MAND for a lo­cal aquatic cen­tre is mount­ing, with res­i­dents start­ing a so­cial me­dia page that at­tracted more than 315 sup­port­ers in three weeks.

Long-term Man­ning res­i­dent Jamie Cook cre­ated the page Sup­port the South Perth Aquatic Cen­tre af­ter dis­cov­er­ing there was nowhere lo­cal he could take his chil­dren for swim­ming lessons.

“The only recre­ation cen­tre in the lo­cal area is the Ge­orge Bur­nett Leisure Cen­tre, which has a bas­ket­ball court and noth­ing else; it is a wasted op­por­tu­nity,” Mr Cook said.

The 35-year-old en­gi­neer said he re­alised there was grow­ing sup­port for a cen­tre af­ter at­tend­ing a meet­ing held last month by Swan MHR Steve Irons.

Mr Irons said the cam­paign for a cen­tre be­gan in 2011 af­ter sur­vey­ing more than 1000 lo­cal res­i­dents, with 97 per cent of res­i­dents say­ing they wanted one in their area.

“When asked about the pro­posed lo­ca­tion for a City of South Perth aquatic cen­tre, 94 per cent iden­ti­fied the Ge­orge Bur­nett Leisure Cen­tre,” Mr Irons said.

“I have also re­ceived sup­port for the pro­posal from... a num­ber of com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing Wa­ter Polo WA, Swim­ming WA and Curtin Uni­ver­sity, rais­ing the po­ten­tial for fu­ture part­ner­ships.”

Mr Irons re­cently se­cured $45,000 in Fed­eral fund­ing to con­duct a fea­si­bil­ity study into the con­struc­tion of the cen­tre.

Lo­cal res­i­dents have held their own re­search, cit­ing Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics fig­ures show­ing the City of South Perth had a greater pop­u­la­tion than re­gions such as the City of Bel­mont, the Town of Vic­to­ria Park and the City of Fre­man­tle, which have aquatic fa­cil­i­ties.

Fol­low­ing the Fed­eral fund­ing an­nounce­ment, the City of South Perth said it was “pre­par­ing a re­port out­lin­ing sug­gested man­age­ment mod­els, fi­nan­cial im­pacts, cost­ings, pro­jected us­age fig­ures and con­cepts for de­sign”.

But sup­port­ers of the cen­tre said they felt the City was fob­bing them off.

Como res­i­dent Roslyn Sims said she and her two school-aged chil­dren trav­elled 30 min­utes to Can­ning­ton for lessons.

“It is about a qual­ity of life; the gov­ern­ment en­cour­ages chil­dren to stay healthy and ac­tive, yet we have noth­ing here. Peo­ple are tak­ing their money and pa­tron­age else­where; it is just not good enough,” she said.

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