Where’s the pool?

The site for Ellenbrook Leisure Centre shows no signs of progress, only weeds and a lone witches hat can be seen.
The new site for Ellenbrook Leisure Centre. Photo: Sophia Corica

City of Swan has announced a new site for the long-awaited Ellenbrook Leisure Centre ,as well as revised plans for its included facilities.

The news comes almost eight years after plans to build the centre were first announced in the city’s Aquatic Facilities Strategy.

The strategy outlined the community’s need for a leisure centre to accommodate the suburb’s fast-growing population. The proposed centre was set to include a 25m pool, swim school amenities, a crèche and more.

Delays in construction and planning mean that little progress has been made, leaving residents frustrated with City of Swan’s efforts.

Ellenbrook resident of 14 years and mother of three Jen Ritchie says she’s lost faith in the project: “If you’re promised something and councillor after councillor keeps saying you’re going to get it, then you don’t, you lose confidence.”

Mrs Ritchie has heard talks of a pool being built locally for almost a decade. She believes that it would make swimming lessons and leisure activities easier for her family to access.

“It would be nice to go to a pool down the road rather than pack up for a day trip and go further away.”

The nearest pool to Ellenbrook, Swan Active, is located 16km away in Midland. The centre is currently closed for renovations forcing residents to travel even further.

City of Swan Councillor Aaron Bowman has advocated for improvements to the original plans to for Ellenbrook Leisure Centre outlined in the Aquatic Facilities Strategy.

“It could have been and should have been done quicker,” he said.

“However, it has allowed us to review our aquatic strategy to see if we had it right. What we proposed a number of years ago was not the right decision”.

The revised plan for Ellenbrook Leisure Centre includes the original 25m pool, an additional 50m pool, water slides, family facilities and more. Mr Bowman believes that this will suit Ellenbrook’s growing population.

According to data from a council meeting on August 9, City of Swan’s population will reach 298,965 by 2051. Ellenbrook is estimated to make up 28 per cent of this total.

The future of Ellenbrook Leisure Centre

Moving forward, Mr Bowman said residents can expect to see progress soon.

“Within two years there will be pretty significant construction happening.”

On September 4 City of Swan released a media statement claiming it aims to begin work on the site next year and that Ellenbrook Leisure Centre is a high-priority project.

As talks of a pool in Ellenbrook continue, Mrs Ritchie remains sceptical.

“It’s all well and good to make it better but I feel like if they keep changing the plan, changing the location, no one is going to believe It.”

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