Why is the City undertaking a business case?

    The Kalamunda Water Park (KWP) was originally built in the mid-1960’s and has serviced the community well for over 55 years. In that time, aquatic facilities have evolved in both design and function, resulting in the existing KWP being no longer considered adequate for the contemporary needs of the community. In addition, the KWP is now nearing the end of its useful life, therefore the City has undertaken this business case to determine a future strategy for the City’s provision of aquatic infrastructure.

    What key issues has the business case addressed?

    Firstly, the need for a new aquatic facility had to be established through an analysis of demographics, facility trends and community consultation. Once the community need was clearly established and key design elements identified, the needs assessment then considered the best location to service our community well into the future. The business case has provided the City with an evidenced based report outlining the needs and feasibility of a future aquatic facility.

    What were the main outcomes of the business case?

    The main outcomes of the business case were:

    • The City’s projected population supports the need for a district level aquatic facility.
    • The foothills area is currently underserviced by aquatic facilities, which is where the majority of the City’s population reside now and into the future.
    • If a replacement aquatic facility was not provided in the hills area then that population would potentially become under serviced.
    • Several options for KWP were investigated throughout the business case process including an indoor heated aquatic centre operated year round, however this option was not determined to be a viable solution for the City.
    • The State Government are undertaking a separate business case into a new multi-purpose community hub including an aquatic centre adjacent to the new High Wycombe Train Station, however this project is currently unfunded with efforts to secure Commonwealth contributions planned. 
    • A two aquatic facility model is recommended for the City, provided it is deemed to be feasible.

    What is the preferred two aquatic facility model proposed in the business case?

    The business case recommended a two aquatic facility strategy for the for the City provided it is deemed to be feasible. The two preferred aquatic facility options are:

    • KWP Option 1a) is an upgrade to the existing KWP facilities to continue to be a seasonally operated facility, with an extended season (October to April each year) including:
      • Outdoor heated 50m pool, new water slides and new plant room.
      • Upgraded administration and changeroom facilities (including hot water system).
      • New half court basketball court and picnic area.
    • Foothills Aquatic Facility Option 2b) is a new aquatic facility proposed to be adjacent to the new High Wycombe Train Station, within the Forrestfield Noth District Structure Plan including: 
      • Indoor heated 25m pool, learn to swim pool, water slides, spa, sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy pool.
      • Outdoor heated 50m pool. 
      • Fitness centre including gymnasium and group fitness studios. 
      • Administration, café, creche and changerooms. 
      • Potential collocated with a new library and community centre to create a Community Hub. 

    What happens if a two aquatic facility model is not deemed financially affordable for the City?

    If a two aquatic facility model is not deemed financially affordable for the City, then the business case recommends investment in only Option 2b – Foothills Aquatics Facility due to:

    • the level of service it is proposed to offer the entire City as part of the multifunctional community hub approach.
    • being close to the majority of the City’s population base, therefore likely attracting the greatest utilisation. 
    • being close to major transportation links, that can best service the entire City.
    • offering activation opportunities for the Forrestfield North District Structure Plan. 
    • the opportunity to attract external advocacy funding, given the preliminary study being undertaken by the State Government. 

    What are the capital costs and how will they be funded?

    The business case outlines the estimated capital costs for the preferred options, being Option1a) and Option 2b), which are estimated to cost approximately $7.5m and $32m respectively. These projects will form part of the City’s advocacy campaign to attract significant external funding from both State and Federal Governments, and potentially commercial partners.

    What will be the likely impact on our rates?

    The business case outlines the operating financial model costs for both options 1a and 2b (refer Table 1 below). The financial models are based on industry benchmarks and projected optimistic and conservative attendance levels, under the scenario of the City operating two facilities at the same time (as per Table 1). The financial models will need to be re-analysed by relevant industry experts during the next planning and facility detailed design stage.


    Table 1: Operating financial models costs. 


    Preferred Options

    Estimated Operating Costs 

    Two Facility Model 

    Option 1a) – KWP

    $720k to $580k

    Option 2b) – Foothills Aquatic Facility 

    $1.3m to $772k

    Combined Two Facility Model

    $2.02m to $1.36m

    One Facility Model

    Option 2b) – Foothills Aquatic Facility 

    $1m to $341k


    Council is now seeking feedback from the community on the options presented in the draft Business Case and their affordability to understand how ratepayers feel about the preferred options and funding for the ongoing operating costs.


    It is important to note that aquatic facilities are not cheap to operate or maintain. The draft Business Case acknowledges that two facilities would require the higher level of funding. 


    A key reason for undertaking the next phase of community consultation is to understand the community’s views, which will form a part of the decision-making process. 

    How do we compare to other local governments that provide aquatic facilities for their residents?

    Of the eleven other local governments in the Perth Metropolitan area that have aquatic centres of similar nature to those being proposed for the City, the City’s of Kwinana and Bayswater provide one aquatic centre and have less or similar projected population to that of Kalamunda. The City’s of Armadale, Canning, and Rockingham also have one aquatic centre each but have a much greater current and projected population. Both the City’s of Swan and Stirling provide three centres which equates to a ratio of approximately 53,000 to 74,000 residents per aquatic centre. As can be seen, whilst facility guidelines exist, there is no fixed standard of provision across local governments.

    When does feedback close?

    Comments close 5pm, Friday 8 October 2021

    What will happen next?

    The community feedback will be collated and considered by Council as part of the final business case in late 2021.

    Where can I get more information?

    For more information contact the City of Kalamunda on (08) 9257 9999. 

    We will also keep you informed through website updates, by telephone or face to face conversations if that is your preferred method of communication. Please let us know.