Bunbury splash park will be done, says Osborne

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Initial concept designs of Bunbury’s planned water splash park.
Camera IconInitial concept designs of Bunbury’s planned water splash park. Credit: Supplied / City of Bunbury

Bunbury City Council chief executive officer Mal Osborne has assured the council that issues holding up a deal on the long-awaited splash park will be resolved.

While it was planned that the council’s contract with Discovery Parks Koombana Bay Caravan Park would be finalised by now, a “sticking point” has kept the deal in negotiations.

Despite the hold up, the council last week supported allocating $150,000 to start preliminary works at the planned location of the splash park at Sykes Foreshore.

But the allocation raised some questions from councillors with the exact reason for the hold up being kept under wraps due to “commercial in confidence”.

Mr Osborne told the council last week there was one clause of the contract still being negotiated, but it was intended to be “signed imminently”.

He hinted that the clause had something to do with the “connection of the lease and the operational plan of the splash park to the lease of the caravan park”.

The council and the caravan park last year struck a deal, which included the splash park, the sale and development of Lot 1881 Koombana Drive and the park’s long-term lease over the entire area.

“We had intended that the documentation for the contract of sale of Lot 1881 specifically would have been executed prior to or on the 24th of May,” Mr Osborne told the council.

“Because the contract of sale is linked to also the long-term lease of the caravan park and the lease of the Sykes Foreshore site, there’s been one clause we are still negotiating.

“City staff have continued to work towards protecting the city’s interests, at the same time, making sure that there is a facility that is provided for the community, free of charge.

“My assurance to councillors is that, this recommendation put forward is required to enable the initial research and planning for the electrical and water extensions which we have an obligation to do to the boundary of the water splash park.

“Without starting the planning for those works in the next four weeks, the water splash park will not be delivered in the 2019-20 summer and that’s been a key element of our desire from both Discovery Parks and City of Bunbury at all times.”

Mayor Gary Brennan told the Bunbury Herald that he was confident the splash park would become a reality and could “absolutely” rule out that the free access to public element was under negotiation.

“The CEO has assured council that there’s only a minor item to be negotiated with Discovery Parks and he’s confident that will be resolved within the next few weeks,” Mr Brennan said.

“I’m confident that we will be proceeding with the splash park and also the sale of lot 1881 plus the long term leasing of the actual caravan park itself.

“The free access will be in place and that’s not the issue at all.”

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