Ocean pool study rejected by council

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
A request for a $25,000 study into Bunbury’s basalt quarry has been knocked back by Bunbury City Council.
Camera IconA request for a $25,000 study into Bunbury’s basalt quarry has been knocked back by Bunbury City Council. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

The revival of an ocean pool in Bunbury is again on rocky ground after a request for a study of the basalt quarry at Rocky Point was voted down by Bunbury City Council.

The request was put forward by Cr Todd Brown who last year advocated for an ocean pool concept at Bunbury’s Back Beach as part of his election campaign.

As part of a number of councillor requests to be considered in July’s budget deliberations, Cr Brown wanted $25,000 for a scoping study.

“Like in the past, I believe this former quarry pit can provide new foundations for future generations and become an iconic tourist magnet for Bunbury,” Cr Brown said.

“From reviewing photos and survey evidence from the 1950s, I uncovered that the basalt quarry holds water and covers an area 150m long and 50m wide – a surface area equivalent to four Olympic-sized pools.

“This project will explore the shape and depth of that pit, through a geological, geometric survey.”

Cr Brown told the council the study would then allow it to explore options for the site and in the future find more money to “explore this buried treasure right in our own backyard”.

“Perhaps a rock sea pool can be created by the simple removal of beach sand from the hole,” he said.

“What value do we put on a big basalt hole, only metres from the ocean next to a hundred-year-old recreation ground which adjoins the CBD?

“From my perspective, the options are endless and the community needs to know what sort of asset we literally have on our doorstep.”

But the request was not supported by the council.

Mayor Gary Brennan told the South Western Times he “admired” Cr Brown’s suggestion and while he said he was “not a fan” of reopening the ocean pool at Back Beach, the project had potential.

“There’s a number of people I know that are quite keen to see the city council do something there,” Mr Brennan said.

“I’m not a fan of trying to get the old ocean pool next to the Back Beach reopened – the reason why it is where it is now if because it didn’t work.

“But with Cr Brown’s idea, there’s potential for it to work but there’s a lot of work to do.

“The oceanography, the consultation with indigenous elders, all these things have to be taken into consideration.”

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