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Kiosks going swimmingly

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Eurobodalla Council is almost halfway through its consultation on concepts for the new Batemans Bay Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre, and Mayor Liz Innes said it was going well so far.

“The vast majority of community members chatting with Council staff at the kiosks are telling us the centre will be a wonderful asset for our community,” she said.

“People are excited that a professional-standard theatre and top-notch indoor aquatic centre, open year-round, is less than three years away.”

Clr Innes said one of the most frequently asked questions at the kiosks was ‘why can’t we have a 50-metre pool’.

“There is a lot of misinformation in our community. When we explain the facts, more often than not people understand why we’ve included a 10-lane, 25-metre pool in the concept, as well as the separate warm water pool, leisure and learn-to-swim pool, water-play area and waterslides,” she said.

“A 50-metre pool has been estimated to cost an additional $6.5 million to build, and an extra $300,000 each year to operate. When you consider that the Batemans Bay Pool already operates at a loss, an additional $300,000 is a significant impost to our community.

“We will not raise rates to pay for this centre. We made a commitment to that, and we won’t sacrifice any of the elements because this facility needs to cater to everyone in our community.

“We’ve visited aquatic centres in Victoria, Shoalhaven and Sydney and spoken to councils who have wasted money putting in 50-metre pools that simply aren’t used.

“I appeal to the community to not just think about their own wants but to consider the needs of others – young families, our elderly, our teenagers, and children, as well as lap swimmers.”

Three concept layouts for the facility are currently available for community members to provide feedback on. Council wants to know what the community likes, and doesn’t like, about each concept. Feedback will be provided to the project architects, who will use it to refine a final design, which might incorporate features of all three.

Kiosks will continue in Batemans Bay’s Village Centre from 9am-5.30pm on Thursday 24 January, Friday 25 January, Thursday 31 January and Saturday 2 February. New kiosks have also been added at Narooma Library on Tuesday 29 January and Moruya Library Wednesday 30 January, from 10am-2pm.

Representatives from more than 90 user groups have been invited give their feedback directly to the architects for the second time at roundtable sessions in early February. The final design will be presented to Councillors for their consideration later this year. Once approved, Council will go out to tender for construction of the centre.