Council has endorsed the Hobsons Bay Aquatic Strategy 2019-30 which will meet our community’s aquatic needs now and into the future.
The strategy recommends the provision of two aquatic facilities to service both the east and west areas of the municipality, as well as a water play park. This would mean a new centre at Bruce Comben Reserve, Altona Meadows, and a major upgrade of Bayfit, Altona North.
Deputy Mayor and joint Active and Inclusive Communities Portfolio Holder Councillor Michael Grech said the future was very exciting for local aquatic facilities.
“Our vision was bold but it resonated with locals who recognised that there is a need to build and upgrade our aquatic offering for our growing population,” said Cr Grech.
“The plan is to first conduct a feasibility study and design for the proposed new aquatic centre at Bruce Comben Reserve – a high priority given the Laverton Swim and Fitness Centre is rapidly nearing the end of its useful life.
“The feasibility study for the new facility will commence in 2019 and will also include investigations into a new water play space at McCormack Park to replace the Laverton Swim and Fitness Centre, which will no doubt prove popular in warmer months.”
Council conducted extensive consultation of the strategy with 1,140 people visiting the project webpage, 76 people completing an online survey and 45 people attending the three community drop in sessions in April 2019.
Joint Active and Inclusive Communities Portfolio Holder and Strand Ward Councillor Peter Hemphill said as a result of community feedback, the strategy had been tweaked and a Stakeholder Reference Group will be formed to guide the Bruce Comben Reserve Aquatic Centre Feasibility Study.
“We will be working closely with representatives from Cooraminta, tenant sports club and the local community to ensure we provide a modern facility with minimal disruption, particularly to the early years service and sporting clubs presently onsite,” said Cr Hemphill.
“Council also received requests for a 50m pool as part of the process but unfortunately our population figures do not warrant this, particularly given the existence of 50m pools nearby in Werribee, Maribyrnong and Albert Park.
“I am passionate about sport and recreation and know that our community is too so I am very happy that we are cementing our commitment to supporting health and wellbeing by providing these much needed centres.”
An estimated total project cost to implement the strategy is $65M. A funding strategy will be developed which will include a combination of funding from the state government, federal government and public private partnerships.
In developing the strategy, Council recognises there are other local health and fitness facilities, including the Newport Recreation Centre, the Williamstown Swimming and Life Saving Club’s outdoor pool and private swim schools in the area.