‘Koombana’ poll highlights more shade and toilets

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
The playground features two playground towers which represent steamship tunnels.
Camera IconThe playground features two playground towers which represent steamship tunnels. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

Extra beach showers, public toilets and shade are in the mix of changes being considered for the Koombana Bay foreshore as the popular family area reaches the one-year mark of its revamp.

The new-look foreshore was re-opened to the public in February last year following a multi-million-dollar makeover.

The community was quick to put forward its feedback and suggestions for improvement following the opening, but Bunbury City Council declared a one-year cooling off period before any major changes were considered.

Mayor Gary Brennan confirmed to the South Western Times that a review was under way and council staff would “just get on with it”.

While shade has been an overwhelming talking point among foreshore users, it appears it is not top of the council’s list.

“The common areas of comment are inadequate toilet facilities and suggestions that there be additional beach showers put in and water taps,” Mr Brennan said.

“Of course, the shade is an issue but in time there will be more shade provided down there as the trees mature.”

More than 1200 people took part in an online poll by the Times with an overarching 84 per cent voting that more shade was needed.

Of the more than 170 comments, shade, toilets, showers and play equipment were among the most common suggestions.

“We do need to look at that shade issue ... but they’re not cheap and it’s such a big area, you can’t shade the whole area,” Mr Brennan said.

“The City will invest a reasonable amount of money near the playground but people can bring their own umbrellas and things like that.”

More showers have been identified for the Dolphin Discovery Centre end of Koombana Bay.

Mr Brennan said foreshore users also now had access to free public toilets at the tourist facility which “should alleviate some of the concerns”.

The council has already made some changes, including painting the slide with heat-protective paint and extra accessibility features such as beach matting.

While several suggestions of changes have been made, Mr Brennan said the positive comments had far outweighed any feedback.

“Absolutely, I still receive comments, particularly now we’ve put in the Wardandi Boodja artwork – that’s attracted enormous comment, which is terrific,” he said.

Artists Alex and Nicole Mickle and Henry Mickle watch over their artwork as its installed at Koombana Bay.
Camera IconArtists Alex and Nicole Mickle and Henry Mickle watch over their artwork as its installed at Koombana Bay. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

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