Push for coastal youth precinct

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury City Council is expected to vote on the location of a youth precinct tonight.
Camera IconBunbury City Council is expected to vote on the location of a youth precinct tonight. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

A former Bunbury city councillor wants to see a “coastal youth precinct” in the city, saying Wyalup-Rocky Point is the most suitable location.

In a detailed submission to Bunbury City Council, Ross Slater said the ocean front location was the “optimum” site to combine a youth precinct and ocean pool.

It comes as the council will tonight vote on locking in Luciana Park – the foreshore area opposite Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre – for the long-awaited youth precinct.

The council also recently supported putting an ocean pool concept on its business case priority list.

Mr Slater said incorporating a youth precinct at Wyalup-Rocky Point would not only return economic benefits to the city, but also provide a “desperately needed” make over for the area.

“Hundreds of young people in Bunbury continue to engage in water activities, despite closure of the city's only 50m outdoor pool decades ago,” Mr Slater said.

“Replacement of that facility with ocean baths together with incorporating a coastal youth precinct will not only avoid a single, exclusive activity on isolated CBD land surrounded by main roads and water, but provide numerous interacting facilities and services for all age groups.

“A youth precinct at rocky point has the potential to become a popular world attraction, with contrasting, exclusive and rare attractions added periodically.”

He also said Luciana Park deserved “professional” consideration and quality development equal to its unique and central waterfront location.

“It should not be treated as a piece of 'too hard to deal with' land, conveniently covered with vehicles, future ablution block and a skatepark – more appropriate areas are available for such precincts,” he said.

“Luciana Park has the potential to attract inter-state and international developers, as will the Outer Harbour, before 2030.

“Visitors will then experience Bunbury as a unique City of Seven Waters.”

Mayor Gary Brennan said a youth precinct at Wyalup-Rocky Point was “not under consideration at the moment” but what could be included in an ocean pool concept was “limitless”.

“Council has committed to a business case for the ocean pool and that looks at all elements associated with that,” Mr Brennan said.

“So it could be elements that we haven’t thought of to date but I’m sure that part of that business case will look at what should be around an ocean pool.

“What else would go there – it’s pretty well limitless in terms of a beachfront facility.”

During a briefing session last week, it was suggested the council could wait for an overall plan for unused waterfront land in the city before it makes a decision on the youth precinct location.

However, the council has been recommended to endorse the site and start further consultation to come up with a concept design.

It will vote tonight.

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