Pool pressure rises
SINK OR SWIM FOR AQUATIC CENTRE
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.