The City of South Perth Council is considering community feedback about a pool and gym development planned for Collier Park Golf Course in the heart of South Perth.
The proposed Recreation and Aquatic Facility has already sparked debate among residents, highlighting various concerns for the council to consider.
Council studies and polls about sport and recreation needs over recent years have indicated significant community support for sport, aquatic and gymnasium facilities in the area. The RAF development is designed to address South Perth’s lack of a public pool and indoor recreation facilities.
Claire Paddison, a consultant,working on the RAF project, said it would be a real regional asset for the local community.
“We’re really trying to make this a community hub; this isn’t just another recreation and aquatic centre; this is going to be a destination. Somewhere that the community can go and participate in different activities,” she said.
Initial plans for the facility include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hydrotherapy pool, 6-8 indoor sports courts, a climbing wall, gym, a short 9-hole golf course, a high-tech golf driving range, meeting and function rooms, a café and a restaurant.
The developers claim the RAF will provide ratepayers with a premier recreation, aquatic, health and educational facility. The RAF will be accessible from not only the City of South Perth but also from suburbs in the Town of Victoria Park and City of Canning.
City of South Perth mayor Greg Milner said community and stakeholder input is vital for the proposal to move forward.
“This is the single biggest community infrastructure project that the city has considered undertaking in recent years. For council to make an informed decision about the project, we need to properly understand the level of stakeholder and community interest and support for the RAF,” he said.
The commercial viability of the RAF has been a cause for concern with ratepayers, who are worried they may have to subsidise the proposed facility. In response, the council has explained that it was necessary to identify potential funding partners before a business case could be considered.
The Federal Government committed $20 million towards the project in 2019, and the council is now engaging with a range of stakeholders to determine who might be using the RAF to ensure it could be financially sustainable.
Curtin University has been highlighted as one of those key stakeholders. City of South Perth stakeholder and customer relations manager Danielle Cattalini said providing wellness and education opportunities to students was central to the RAF plans.
“We’re really looking at integrating wellness and education into this facility, and we have a great opportunity with Curtin directly opposite Collier Park Gold Course,” Mrs Cattalini said.
Residents have also raised concerns about the impact the RAF may have on traffic in the surrounding area, both during and after construction. Mrs Cattalini said preliminary traffic management was already underway and further traffic studies would be conducted should the project proceed.
Public consultation on the RAF closed on Wednesday, September 23. The council will meet in late October to decide if they will proceed with the RAF proposal. For more information visit https://yoursay.southperth.wa.gov.au/raf