Debate over public swimming pool site and affordability

Swimming pool site

Hamersley Golf ClubWhen the State Government sold off the Scarborough Public High School site a few years ago for a private land development, they promised the furious locals a community/sports centre (which they built on Newborough Street in Karrinyup) and a replacement 25 mt pool. 

Apparently the State Government gave the  City of Stirling some blocks of land from the development (which are now worth around $6m to $7m) to put towards a pool.  However, the City of Stirling does not believe they can afford to build a pool unless the State Government contributed significantly more.

A large group of very passionate residents have been lobbying hard for a local pool which many agree is needed, as the closest pools for anyone living around Karrinyup and Trigg are Bold Park, Beatty Park or the Craigie Leisure Centre  way up north.  Depending where you live a 10-15 minute drive.

However, there is growing concern over the cost and the proposed location. The site they seem to have selected at this point in time is the Hamersley Public Golf Club nursery (pictured above). Should they go a head with a full 50m pool and gym complex, it would cost around $50m to build.  See the article and comments by locals in the Stirling Times – Pool decision deferred yet again

I happen to live in the area and as a swimmer who drives at least a couple of times a week to pools in other suburbs, I agree it would be nice to have one closer by.  But then again it would be nice to have a lot of things.  It is important to weigh up the costs and the sustainability issues.

There is growing controversy over the proposed  Hamersley Public Golf Club site as over  70 mature Tuart trees (important habitat for Black Cockatoos) would have to be removed for the building and enormous car park for a start.  Is it appropriate to stick all of this in a public golf club?

The other sustainability factors must be considered too, such as the huge amount of energy these places take to build and then run.  People in the area  are complaining that they use too much petrol driving to other pools, but perhaps they should consider how much they save driving to the beach.  People in the eastern suburbs for example a have to drive for 25 minutes or more to get to the beach.  

Apparently, new pools have to be under cover for sun protection and they must have a gym to bring in the money to pay for them.  The Balga pool without a gym costs over $2ook a year to run, were as the Terry Tyzak pool in Dianella makes over $1ook because of the gym.

Perhaps it needs to be determined if  this pool is a need or a want?

Should they compromise and build one or two coastal lap pools like the one they are looking at building  in Cottesloe for a fraction of the price? See article 

Here are some issues raised by locals we have spoken to;

  • The adverse impact of the proposed Hamersley pool on the existing golf course
  • Increased demand/competition with golfers for parking
  • The removal of trees to accommodate both the facility and additional parking
  • Increased traffic and access/egress onto an already busy Marmion Ave
  • The lesser needs of a pool by coastal residents – who have sea breezes and access to the ocean – as compared to the hotter eastern suburbs
  • The less affluent eastern suburbs ratepayers being expected to subsidise the more affluent west (many of whom have their own backyard pools)
  • An ocean pool (or two or three) at a fraction of the cost
  • Many disabled/elderly regularly swim/bathe at the beach and would benefit from safe access to an ocean pool (they currently run the gauntlet of submerged rocks and undertows).

Please leave your comments

There will be a Special Meeting of Electors 24th June, at 7pm at the City of Stirling council chambers , 25 Cedric Street, Stirling.

For detail see

(Prior information – 28th of May council meeting  Agenda pg 51  and ensuing Minutes )

This entry was posted in Nature Preservation, Passive Recreation, Public Open Spaces, Remnant Bushland, Sustainability, Trees, Uncategorized, Urban Forest and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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