‘Safety is an issue. I often feel like I'm caught in a race whilst travelling to Wonthaggi pool at 7.15am, it can be busy with tradies and workers commuting. Travelling at that time in the morning watching the sunrise should be a pleasant experience, but it's quite the reverse, you become tense and get stressed. Sitting in the car for 45 minutes each way does not do my body any favours.
You look forward to a warm pool to exercise, soothe and heal the body and mind but so often the temperature varies. Even with "warm Wednesday'' (kids & special needs) it is not a consistent temperature.
I do have concerns that pool management blocks off a lane during the aqua aerobics classes (approximately 40 attending) to cater for sometimes one lap swimmer at 8.15am twice a week.
Afterwards the body and mind are feeling fantastic. I'm happy and energised and ready to have a great day. I then spend the next 45 minutes sitting in the car arriving home approximately 3 hours after I left and a little stiff from sitting again.
If you have an injury, sometimes you can't drive at all, or spending 1hr 30mins a day driving to get relief for your injury is not ideal. I should not have to spend 1hr 30mins a day (or 4hrs 30mins three times per week) driving or travelling approx. 300kms a week or 207hrs and 13,800kms a year to exercise in a pool (based on 46 weeks).
This brings me to the cost of "wear and tear" on my vehicle and the expense of petrol.
Whilst it's nice to meet new people from around Bass Coast, I really believe it's important to socialise and interact with members of my local community. It would help me make new friends, network or just plain exercise more easily in a pool closer to home.’
Phillip Island has an ageing population who need more joint replacements, and suffer from conditions that greatly benefit from warm water exercise that eases muscles and reduces the weight impact of exercise on joints.
The PIACF proposal identifies that a dedicated warm water pool is required that can be accessed when needed. By contrast, the feasibility proposal accepted by BCSC has identified there should be a shared learn-to-swim (LTS) and hydrotherapy pool with a moveable floor. We have grave concerns regarding the reported mechanical reliability of such floors and how the difference in water temperature required by the two activities will be managed. Warming the water on a daily basis to ensure that it is warm enough for hydrotherapy and then cooling it for LTS activity seems extraordinarily inefficient, particularly if the Shire is aiming to address the self-declared climate emergency!
LET’S NOT FORGET OUR LIFE-SAVERS
Although life-savers train in the open sea, there are tremendous benefits for them to be able to access still-water training. The ability to cross-train in other facilities provided at an Aquatics facility/training centre would enable a wide range of training to occur. And let us not forget the health benefits that a warm water hydrotherapy pool could provide for injured life-savers to recover strength and functionality.
This is a letter we received from a life member of the Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club. It identifies the importance of upgrading facilities to retain the enormous talent that we have amongst our young people and keeping the trained life-savers that protect us and visitors safe on our beaches every year. Without them, so many more would perish and we are all grateful for the service that they provide our community.
‘The Woolamai Beach SLSC as you know has long been patrolling the beaches of Phillip Island since the mid 1950’s. The WBSLSC provides not only an essential patrol and rescue service to the Island. We conduct thousands of hours or training and education for our members, schools, public, nippers, athletes, special interest groups, masters groups (gerries), special events and much more, such as walkers, road racers, mountain bikers, ocean paddlers, swimmers, racing mals, running, sprint etc.
The proposal of the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre Fund with additional facilities, would be eagerly supported by the WBSLSC and the many programs and services we conduct would be greatly enhanced.
Whilst the surf environment provides an excellent training ground for emergency training and operation, a controlled environment with accommodation and training facilities would elevate the range of programs on offer to the highest level.
• Our members and those we serve have a choice of where they spend their recreation, sporting, leisure and volunteer time.
• Phillip Island has natural attractions to support continued attendance by all groups involved.
• However, without the continued growth of infrastructure and modern facilities, like the proposed Aquatic Centre, it will be increasingly difficult to retain interest in returning to Phillip Island.
As the Woolamai Beach SLSC evolves and grows with many events and services (Bass Coast series, patrols, nippers, lifeguards, jet ski patrols etc), so too must the training and education facilities to not only retain existing users but attract those in the coming years for the future of Phillip Island and the Bass Coast.
Whilst the Penguin Parade and excellent service of the PINP continue to dominate national and international attention, it is the total package of the island that keeps people returning and living here.
• The existing generation of athletes and their families are drawn to NSW and QLD due to the amazing facilities they have access to.
• This idea is what we can do at Phillip Island to attract people throughout the year. Not just the summer months or dusk at Summerland beach.
We welcome any further request for input into this vital facility for all residents and visitors now and future.’
Of all the people that responded to the recent BCSC community consultation it is difficult to identify which of the proposed Wonthaggi or Phillip Island Aquatic centre received the most support, however feedback within the Phillip Island and San Remo Community there is a tremendous level of support for Phillip Island’s Aquatic Centre, but then there has been for nearly 30 years!
To download the PIACF’s alternative proposal, see report below: