South Western Times

State Government to fund ocean pool study

- NICOLETTE BARBAS

Discussion­s about a feasibilit­y study into an ocean pool at Bunbury Back Beach are back on the table following the re-election of the Labor Government.

As part of his string of election commitment­s, Bunbury MLA Don Punch promised a re-elected Labor Government would undertake a feasibilit­y study and preplannin­g and engineerin­g work to determine the viability of constructi­ng an ocean pool at Bunbury Back Beach.

An ocean pool has long been a talking point among locals and the council alike, with a number of pushes and concept designs floated over the past decade.

The first step in the Bunbury Coastline Developmen­t Plan, the pool could be an “iconic attraction” and “Instagram hotspot” for the city, bringing visitors from far and wide to the area.

In a recent report to the council, City of Bunbury chief executive Mal Osborne said the “fatal flaws study” exploring the feasibilit­y for an ocean pool in Bunbury had been received.

“It is advised that the ‘fatal flaws study’ has now been received and city officers are currently reviewing the document,” Mr Osborne wrote. “It is envisaged that the feasibilit­y study, capital project costs and operating costs for a preferred design will be the next steps in the project definition. Once obtained, they will be presented to council in due course.

“As interim advice, we can confirm that no fatal flaws were identified in the work undertaken by M.P. Rogers.”

Mr Punch said funding for the feasibilit­y study would be subject to the usual budgetary processes of government.

“I expect the timeline for delivery will be establishe­d in the first budget of this term of Government,” Mr Punch said.

“The Bunbury Ocean Pool is a City of Bunbury project that was listed as a priority in their approach to Government prior to the election and as such the funds will be provided to the city to conduct the feasibilit­y study for this project.

“The progress of the feasibilit­y study and the applicatio­n of the findings of the study will be a matter for the City of Bunbury.

“The developmen­t of the ocean pool is likely to be a technicall­y complex project and as such I expect the State Government will await the findings of the study before forming an opinion regarding any future developmen­t.”

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