The Phillip Island Aquatic Centre may have just become another step closer. In an Australian first, Goodwill Bills created a way for supporters of the project to contribute to it for free.
Peter McMahon from the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre Fund announced in December of last year that if the community could raise $2M then the rest of the funding may be attained from other sources. Mr McMahon now reports “We are delighted to support another fundraising option in 2016, with an initiative that household within our area can get behind. It’s a great chance for us to raise substantial funds for the project” while everyone benefits in the savings.
Goodwill Bills is an innovative way to buy electricity, which generates a return to the communities that get behind the scheme, while at the same time saving householders money on their bills. Goodwill Bills connects customers with better deals, while redirecting the marketing spend of participating retailers to create a donation to the preferred charity of each participating customer.
So far, Goodwill Bills members are saving an average of $436 per year on their energy bills, while at the same time creating up to $64 per year in donations to their preferred cause.
Mr McMahon explained how the program works. “Supporters of the Aquatic Centre simply go online to GoodWillBills, register and then select from two nominated energy retailers, it’s easy, and quick”.
Goodwill Bills has selected two leading energy retailers: online retailer Click Energy - Australia’s highest rating retail energy provider based on customer satisfaction; and Powershop - Ranked by Greenpeace as Australia’s greenest power company. Both offer market leading deals, and give customers choice on the type of retailer that they want to buy from.
While large charities like Amnesty, Beyond Blue and The Reach Foundation have already got on board, the program is open to any charity, including local organisations like the PIACF.
Goodwill Bills members get access to some of the best deals in the energy market through retailers willing to support local communities.
Goodwill Bills founder Mark Donaldson said that while the impetus to start the venture was to help raise funds for charity, so far, every Goodwill Bills member had also made a saving on their bill, with some saving as much as $1200 per year. “There are substantial savings available, and the idea of buying energy from a company that will also put something back into their customers’ communities is getting a great response.”
“We believe that there is a better way for energy companies to interact with customers. We want to disrupt what they do now, and give them an option to paying companies like i-Select and instead funnel that money back into great causes. It is exciting to see two companies with great pricing get behind this idea”.
“Importantly, there is no contract or exit fees involved so if you are not satisfied, there is no obligation to stay. And customers can double check the savings they are likely to see by either using an online calculator or simply sending us a photo of a recent bill. We’ve developed Goodwill Bills to help grassroots organisations tap into a new source of funding, and we’re thrilled to be able to get behind the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre as part of our first community campaign.”
Potential benefit to the Phillip Island community and economy
With some 14,000 rateable dwellings recorded on Phillip Island/San Remo in 2015, the opportunity is huge. If each of those dwellings switched their energy provider, it would result in total savings of ~$4.6M going back into peoples' pockets based on current average savings rates, and an additional $423,000 donated each year to the PIACF.
Don Turner has been a long-time supporter of the Aquatic Centre project.“I’m amazed at the savings that are available, its easy to think that switching is too hard, and people end up paying too much, saving money and helping a project as important as the Aquatic Centre is a fantastic opportunity”.
Families wanting to sign up to the campaign, or find out more details about the offer, should visit the website GoodWillBills to register and choose a new energy supplier.
Sadly, with the recent drowning at Woolamai Beach, we are reminded of a letter we received when we were compiling our Submission to Bass Coast Shire Council.
This letter is included below which I hope will again enable all residents to get behind our drive to raise money, to allow this very important piece of infrastructure to go ahead, as soon as possible.
We were told when amalgamation of Councils took place, an Aquatic Centre should be built on Phillip Island, when will our Council understand, why this centre is needed.
It is not for any other reason than for better HEALTH and WELLBIENG but also a tool to help SAVE LIVES.
Bass Coast Shire Council
76 McBride Avenue
Wonthaggi VIC 3995
Attention Mr Paul Buckley - Chief Executive Officer
SUPPORT FOR AN AQUATIC CENTRE ON PHILLIP ISLAND
Dear Mr Buckley
I write to express the support of Surfing Victoria for Bass Coast Shire to commit to the provision of an Aquatic Centre on Phillip Island.
The benefits of an Aquatic Centre to the Phillip Island for both the permanent and visitor populations would be invaluable in providing for not just the health and well being of the community but also will play a part in public safety.
With the pristine beaches of Phillip Island attracting both surfers and beach goers from not just the island but the state and from around the world the water safety and swimming skills honed at such a facility will play an important part in keeping our community safer.
Chief Executive Officer
If anyone would like to help us achieve our goal we have established a partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation to raise the vital funds to help build our Aquatic Centre.
Below I show two ways you can deposit your donation, or just look out for members of our committee at various functions, were you can make a donation, purchase a Bumper Sticker or raffle ticket.
For Tax Deductibility
For non Tax Deductibility
NAB Cowes BSB 083593, Account No. 560653544.
Unfortunately we CAN’T give you tax deductibility.
(Make sure that you notate your name).
We hope that once everyone reads and understands what we are endeavouring to do, they will donate to our tax deductible fund through our partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) to raise $2million.
At long last, we have a chance to actually achieve a Phillip Island Aquatic Centre. But I must remind you that, if we fail this time to reach our fundraising target, Council will decide to rebuild Wonthaggi’s Centre first, at a cost to all Bass Coast ratepayers of $24 million, for little real improvement in that centre’s aquatic facilities.
Discussions were held with 4 schools in the immediate catchment area–San Remo Primary School, Newhaven Primary School, Newhaven College and Cowes Primary School. The findings of the consultation are represented by the feedback below.
With the exception of Cowes Primary School, which has its own pool, every other school expressed that the level of activity in aquatic education activities is lower than is desirable. Newhaven Primary School stopped running an aquatic education program for students following the closure of the Silver Water Resort pool to non-guests. Lessons had previously been conducted at Wonthaggi Aquatic Centre but the travel time and the lack of appropriate lane availability resulted in lessons being discontinued at that venue. The teachers now believe that almost 50% of the children at the school cannot swim to a level that reflects the aquatic risks of a seaside area. They have tried to access Cowes Primary School pool but there is limited lane availability. They believe that the construction of an aquatic centre on Phillip Island is a necessity if children are to learn basic aquatic safety skills. San Remo students participate in aquatic education activities at the Wonthaggi Aquatic Centre 4 times per year. In many cases these lessons are the only time the children undertake aquatic education activities. Teachers estimated that at least 10% of students have no water familiarisation experience before attending school. The schools would like to offer more opportunities for students, but the 3 hours round trip impacts on other programs. It was believed that the construction of an aquatic centre on Phillip Island would result in a significant increase in aquatic education opportunities for San Remo students.
Newhaven College utilises the Wonthaggi Aquatic Centre for swim lessons. 175 students participating in 8 lessons each year. However, the 3 hour round trip is extremely disruptive to other programs. The program for senior school students is limited due to accessibility and travel time issues. The school believes that the construction of an aquatic centre on Phillip Island would result in a significant increase in aquatic activities and programs conducted at the school. This would involve conducting swim squads, an expanded aquatic education program and expansion of courses offered in the senior school.
Students at Cowes Primary School have higher levels of access to the pool located on their site. Programs are run in both terms 1 and term 4 and students experience nearly 20 hours per annum of aquatic education programs. Cowes Primary School is satisfied that the students at the school receive adequate aquatic education instruction and are well prepared to safely swim in the bay and patrolled open beaches.
Summary (Taken in full from our 2010 Phillip Island Aquatic Centre feasibility study)
There was genuine concern that the low level of aquatic education programming at Newhaven Primary and San Remo Primary fails to provide children with the necessary skills to minimise the risk of drowning associated with living in an area surrounded by sea. There should be opportunities for all schools in the area to further utilise the Cowes Primary School and this should be explored further in the short term. However, until a year round indoor facility is created, the travel time to Wonthaggi Aquatic Centre will continue to limit aquatic education opportunities for children who attend schools in the Phillip Island and San Remo district.
Kelly is a new member of our Committee and this is her story of why she joined and why she is so passionate about a pool for Phillip Island.
Learning to swim on the island was never an easy task. As a child you had the option of paid private lessons at the Anchor Belle, or school sports in an outdoor pool that ran for a maximum of 3 months in a year. Being from Cowes Primary School, I was one of the few lucky ones who actually had access to that pool. However, I was never what you would call a strong swimmer. Capable, yes, but not strong.
When I enlisted in the Defence Forces, where your main focus is to remain fit for duty, it was imperative that I improved upon my base level of survival swimming prowess. So I jumped back into the pool. Faced with the lack of aquatic facilities provided in our local area, I was forced to regularly drive the huge (and time consuming) distances to Wonthaggi, to gain access to a pool with, at best, only one to two lanes available. That is, if they weren’t using those lanes for their own community swimming lessons, competitive swimming or senior Aqua classes.
Upon incurring an injury I received treatment from various health professionals. All of them came to the same conclusion - for potential rehabilitation whilst avoiding surgery, low impact exercise and localised stretching were required, both primarily achieved through water-based activities. Being in my mid-20’s and coming from a highly active background, I would not have considered regularly attending “Aqua Movers”, but that was the light activity that I was permitted to do, together with my lap swimming program. Again, I am required to travel to gain access to such facilities and again experience minimal lane availability and severely limited time frames to utilise the services. Every visit is a battle between exacerbating my injury by sitting in the car for too long and exercising enough to make the trip worthwhile. But I don’t have a choice.
As an aquatic centre advocate, I see it as my responsibility to support the fundraising goal we've spent decades trying to achieve. No matter how that task is approached, it really begins and ends with local support. Reaching the $2 million goal will give our kids a better chance of surviving in our (sometimes dangerous) waters by allowing them to learn to swim competently on their own turf. The Centre will also assist every single age-group of our community to maintain active and good health. All we need to get this project up and running is a show of strong community backing via your financial support!
If you would like to help us build this Aquatic Centre by donating to our funds, you can do that in one of the following ways:
For Tax Deductibility
For non Tax Deductibility
NAB Cowes BSB 083593, Account No. 560653544. (Make sure you notate your name).
Unfortunately we CAN’T give you tax deductibility.
To find out more please visit our website at www.piac.org.au
The following article is reproduced from the Phillip Island Advertiser 9.12.15
Phillip Island Aquatic Centre Fund secretary Peter McMahon is a determined man. He has no doubt that a pool can be achieved on Phillip Island by the Year 2018, a date which marks 150 years since the island was settled, but it will need Council to rethink their current ideas. He is appealing to the community to get behind a pool appeal, and has outlined the positive changes that have eventuated this year which can enable this to happen.
First and foremost, the fact that the Bass Coast Shire Council has at long last approved the construction of a pool on Phillip Island, representing a major shift from their 2014 stance, whereby they decreed council would look at developing a pool on Phillip Island in another fifteen years.
“The situation 18 months ago was that council resolved to build a pool at Wonthaggi, and look at Phillip Island fifteen years hence,” said Peter this week.
Thanks to the dedicated and intensive work being undertaken by Peter and the PIACF committee, that, has now changed. “The current Bass Coast Shire Council resolution is that two Aquatic Centres can be built in the shire. One at Wonthaggi and a second on Phillip Island.”
It remains the case that Phillip Island residents have to raise 50% of the cost of their facility, which Peter estimates overall to be in the vicinity of $10 million. As opposed to the agreed Wonthaggi pool redevelopment, this has a current estimated price tag of $22.5 million, but comes with no similar community contribution rider. Nevertheless, says Peter McMahon, we can do it.
Bass Coast Shire Council has approved a site for a Phillip Island pool, on land behind the Cowes Cultural Centre. “Now that the land has been secured by council resolution, it’s all systems go for us,” Peter said.“We will need to raise $2 million to make it happen. We understand a grant is available from Sport and Recreation Victoria for $ 3 million which means we can do it.That will give us our $5 million.
The PIACF has also established a partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF), which is able to accept donations on behalf of PIACF. All donations made to ASF for PIACF are tax deductible.
The Foundation sources donations from philanthropic organisations. “They have agreed to help us and are very much on side,” Peter McMahon comments. “This group raised $24 million for sporting groups in Australia last year.”
PIAFC will be seeking community support over summer, and are soon to launch a fund raising program. “For the first time in the 20 years this community has been working to build a pool, there is now a real chance of us achieving this facility by 2018,” he says. “We very much want it to coincide with the island’s 150th celebrations.” And here’s a thought, he adds.“If 20,000 people donated just $100 each, we would have our $2 million in a heartbeat.’
Full details of the partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation are contained in a PIACF advertisement in this edition.To donate, go to the Australian Sports Foundation website, and click on to the Phillip Island project pointer. For further information and a question and answer format page, go to www.piac.org.au
We can do it, a very enthusiastic Peter advises. Many of the obstacles faced at the council level for the last decade have all now been cleared. “We’re on the way. Come with us.”
PIACF will publish a regular column in the Advertiser in 2016, keeping the community closely informed, and showing the progress of the PIAFC quest to raise $2 million.
It was a great feeling to hold our 2015 AGM last Tuesday night (25 August), when we were able to discuss the finalisation of the first stage of working with Council, with Council’s recent announcement of the chosen site for our long awaited Aquatic Centre.
In time, we will all see something like the sketch above of an Aquatic Centre actually being built, together with a Medical Hub and other associated structures on the site marked above.
Our Group (PIACFI) will continue to work with Council and other interested parties to plan exactly what is needed to establish a World Class Aquatic Centre for our Island and the Shire.
Obviously the Aquatic Centre will need significant funding. At our AGM, a Motion to increase the level of our Annual Subscriptions was passed, lifting the figure to $10.00 per Adult per year, and, for the first time, a family subscription of $30 for families of 3 or more.
We outlined that subscriptions will help greatly, when added to our ASF (Australian Sports Foundtaion) fund, established to potentially give us $2 million from donated money. Anyone interested in finding out how they can participate in contributing to the ASF fund should contact our Secretary Peter McMahon on 0418 533 256, or go to www.asf.org.au and then to ‘Projects - Phillip Island Aquatic Centre’.
We have elected a new Committee of twelve, who will assist in the raising of money along with helping to design our Aquatic Centre. ASF donations and subscriptions, together with a significant remaining balance of previously raised funds will allow us the best opportunity of the Phillip Island Centre being built before any other Centre within the Shire.
We are now in an imminent position of starting the design phase of the Aquatic Centre Project. But we need your help. If you can help by purchasing an annual subscription we will go one step closer from where we are today. For those who have donated bricks or annual subscriptions in the past, I can assure you that we have a data base which records those contributions against the names of the contributors.
Everyone should understand that our group doesn’t intend to build or operate the Aquatic Centre; we are just the Fund raising entity for the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre.
Yes, it may have taken many years to get to this position, but it is now within our grasp. So let’s all get on board and make it happen sooner rather than later.
Part of the Cowes Cultural and Civic Precinct has been selected as the suitable site for the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre.
The Bass Coast Shire Council-owned land was identified in the Cowes Activity Centre Plan adopted in June, and was then selected by the Phillip Island Aquatic Working Group as the preferred site.
Working Group Chair, Cr Bradley Drew, said the Group had used the Site Selection Process outlined in the Bass Coast Aquatic Strategy to determine the most suitable site for future development of the aquatic facility.
“Since the Bass Coast Aquatic Strategy was adopted by Council at the June meeting, it’s been a busy time for the Group undertaking the Site Selection Process,” Cr Drew said.
“We assessed four sites - Phillip Island Recreation Reserve, CA79 Hilton Chadwick Reserve, the Newhaven College site, and of course the site identified in the adopted Cowes Activity Centre Plan that was eventually chosen.”
The following Site Selection Criteria were used to assist in identifying the preferred site:
“Once completed, the concept plan will open up the opportunities to secure State and Federal Funding in the future,” Mr McMahon said.
The Phillip Island Aquatic Working Group meets regularly and consists of membership from Council, the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre Fund Inc, Phillip Island Swim Club, Bass Coast Health, Bass Coast YMCA and Newhaven College.
Cr Bradley Drew remarked he is excited about the opportunity for the proposed Phillip Island Aquatic Centre.
“The proposed centre will add value to the civic precinct that will, subject to successfully securing funding, include a redeveloped civic precinct, future transport hub, and the proposed new Phillip Island Health and Medical Hub,” Cr Drew commented.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to reactivate Cowes between Church and Chapel Street.”
Community input into the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre will be part of the concept design phase which will be undertaken in the 2015/16 financial year.
It was expected that at tonight’s Council Meeting, the proposed location for the construction of the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre would be voted on. However, Council have chosen to make a Media Release announcement instead confirming, the location.
The proposed location has been determined by ‘The Phillip Island Aquatic Working Group’ using the rigorous selection criteria contained within the Bass Coast Aquatic Strategy. The location is on Council owned land behind the Cultural Centre and will share the site with the Medical Hub and others. The Working Group was comprised of Councillors and Council staff, members of the PIACF Inc. and other key interested parties.
The Phillip Island Aquatic Centre Fund Inc is pleased with the proposed outcome and hopes all residents get behind this decision to finally get approval from Council to fund and build our long fought-for Aquatic Centre.
The announcement should not come as a surprise as it was recently suggested by a group of consultants that worked on the Cowes Activity Strategy.
The remaining task of The Phillip Island Aquatic Centre Working Group is to determine and scope the first stage of the Aquatic Centre (or, alternatively, whether the Centre should be built in one stage). The PIACF Inc will have more to say about that remaining task in the near future.
Upcoming PIACF Inc Annual General Meeting
Selection of the site for the Aquatic Centre is just another step in the long process of actually getting the Centre built.
Our AGM is about to take place on the 25th August. We are looking for additional assistance with new committee personnel to help drive the building of this centre. Anyone who feels they can constructively contribute to the process will be welcomed on to the Committee. We also invite all other residents to attend our AGM at 7.30pm on the 25th August in the Heritage Centre in Thompson Avenue.
I would also like to remind those who in the past have contributed by way of annual memberships to consider renewing their membership. As a new financial year has begun, we would appreciate your continued membership subscription. The dollar level of our annual membership subscription will be one of the issues to be discussed at the AGM.
You may recall that we are in position of having the ability to raise up to $2 million in funds through the ASF (Australian Sports Foundation) where donations are treated using tax-deductible DGR status, with tax deductibility for individual donors. But we need to continue the effort to raise funds from other sources, including corporate, philanthropists and business. Annual membership subscriptions are also an important contribution.
It is important to emphasise that, with Council agreeing to build two Aquatic Centres within the Shire (the PI Aquatic Centre and redevelopment of the Wonthaggi Centre), they have left it open to which will be built first. It is our conviction that who can raise the funds the quickest, will be a critical determinate of order of priority. Many years ago residents allocated funds for bricks, this money and records still remain active today and will form some part of the construction.
Our real work is about to begin, WE NEED YOUR HELP; if there is anything you feel you or your company could do to help build the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre please let us know.
Yes, with the announcement of a proposed location for the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre. We have taken a huge step forward. The long awaited Phillip Island Aquatic Centre is going to be built in our lifetime!