Call to boost indoor sports facilities

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Residents say a 50m pool is needed to support Busselton and Dunsborough's growing population.
Camera IconResidents say a 50m pool is needed to support Busselton and Dunsborough's growing population. Credit: Taelor Pelusey

Sporting clubs have renewed the debate for an upgrade of indoor facilities in Busselton and Dunsborough, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The campaign for a 50m pool in Dunsborough has had public support for several years, but Georgiana Molloy Anglican School Swimming Club president Ruth Miles said the region had outgrown the size of the pool at Geographe Leisure Centre in Busselton as well.

“As a swimming club we cannot grow because of a lack of lane space and we cannot hold events,” she said.

“We’re sharing with other clubs and other user groups such as swimming lessons.”

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Dunsborough Basketball Club vice-president Travis Fassom said a multi-purpose sporting facility with more indoor basketball courts and a 50m pool was essential for the development of junior sports.

“Our main goal is to develop talented kids, but we’re losing them because we don’t have the indoor facilities,” he said.

“We don’t see any results come from consultation with the City of Busselton.

“We do their surveys and workshops, we’ve had meetings, but it never amounts to anything — we feel like we’re being ignored.”

The Busselton Basketball Association has more than 1500 members, with games forced to be played across five locations, including at high schools.

Despite the concerns, City of Busselton manager of community services Maxine Palmer said Geographe Leisure Centre and Naturaliste Community Centre were being reviewed as part of the development of a sporting facilities strategy.

“The need to increase sporting infrastructure across the City is acknowledged and basketball is just one of a number of sports being considered for how this can be achieved,” she said.

“Expansion of the Naturaliste Community Centre is already considered in the City’s Long Term Financial Plan and feasibility studies have taken place in the last 12 months to understand the constraints and scope of the site.”

Ms Palmer said the City had received more than 500 submissions to a recent community survey to develop the Sporting and Recreation Facilities Strategy.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said given the cost of staffing and maintenance was borne by ratepayers, the City of Busselton needed to prioritise spending on more indoor facilities.

She said it was clear the 25m pool in Busselton did not meet demand for swimming in the region.

Ms Mettam has met with sporting groups and said upgrades to community sporting infrastructure, including swimming and basketball, were needed.

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