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Bunbury’s water playground is back on the table

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

Plans for a highly-anticipated water playground in Bunbury have been revived with Bunbury City Council in discussions with a commercial enterprise to take over the ambitious project.

The South Western Times can reveal the possible location of the playground has also moved to Sykes Foreshore near the Koombana Bay Caravan Park. The project was originally earmarked for the Pat Usher Foreshore at the edge of the Leschenault Inlet.

In what can be described as a rollercoaster ride in determining whether a water playground would become a reality, the latest revelation comes despite Deputy Mayor Brendan Kelly last month all but saying the project was dead in the water.

It also follows the Federal Government’s decision not to back the concept, rejecting the council’s application for funding.

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But Mayor Gary Brennan has revealed the project is still a “possibility” and the council has asked chief executive officer Andrew Brien to enter into negotiations with a commercial operator.

Mr Brennan said negotiations were prompted after the Koombana Bay Caravan Park owners applied to renew their lease.

“They’ve approached council to renew their lease, we’ve looked at that and part of that consultation is the possibility of a water playground,” he said.

“We’ve authorised the CEO to have discussions with (owners) Beston Parks Management and Department of Lands about the crown land at Sykes Foreshore.”

It is understood the Discovery Parks group own a number of sites across Australia which also have water playgrounds.

Mr Brennan said he was disappointed the council was unable to convince the Government the project was worthwhile, but he was confident it would still happen.

The development would be the latest in a string of improvements around the Koombana Bay area, with the transformation project well under way and the upgraded Koombana Drive set to be officially unveiled next week.

The South Western Times can also reveal a prime piece of land between the caravan park and planned Department of Parks and Wildlife headquarters is due to go on the market.

The council this week approved the move to sell lot 1881 Koombana Drive.

Mr Brennan said the block of land was “ideally located“ for another tourism-related development.

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