Campaspe Shire Council has identified the need for an Aquatics and Leisure Services Strategy, to set the vision, objectives and outcomes for the future of aquatic services.
Mayor, Cr Adrian Weston said the strategy will be progressed in conjunction with planning for new facilities in Kyabram and Rochester, with both outdoor pools at the end of their useful life and expensive to maintain due to their age as well as leaking extensively.
“Replacement of this nature requires widespread planning as well as community engagement and council has recognised that this can be done simultaneously with the development of the strategy,” Cr Weston said.
Campaspe Shire has eight aquatic facilities, managing and operating seven outdoor pools and one indoor facility. A review of aquatic services started in 2013 with council adopting an agreed position in 2016. The review was driven by a number of challenges including the:
- Age, condition and number of facilities, noting facilities range in age from 18 to 85 years.
- Increasing operational costs for maintenance, power, water, chemicals, staff, cleaning, etc.
- Changing population demographics and community expectations.
The decision in 2016 acknowledged community concern raised with the options presented at the time, confirmed the preferred direction for aquatic services being supported by facilities at Echuca, Kyabram, Rochester and Rushworth, however agreed to continue with all services, subject to completing Community Place Based Plans for the remaining four townships with outdoor pools.
“Council has now agreed to extending the timeframe for completing the Community Place Based Plans for the Colbinabbin, Lockington, Stanhope and Tongala communities through to the end of 2021,” the Mayor added.
“In the meantime, council will continue with essential operational and maintenance works at these outdoor pools until their future is determined.”
The development of an Aquatics and Leisure Strategy will ensure that future services meet community needs and are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, to maximise access and usage.
Council’s proposed 2019-20 budget, currently open for public submissions, includes funding to start development of the strategy.