It is obvious that the process of building a modern, state of the art Aquatic Centre will directly stimulate the economy during the construction phase, and with new employment opportunities both in operational and in health and well-being roles.
What is less obvious, is that the presence of a new Aquatic facility will provide a platform to rebuild existing businesses, and grow new ones, based on multi-day visitation for swim carnivals and training camps using the extensive range of accommodation, dining and other attractions that Phillip Island has to offer. One thing that COVID has made us aware of, is that we must diversify our tourist offerings and focus on the domestic market rather than international tourists. Having a modern aquatic facility can give us such a focus and provide that positive shot in the arm, that is much needed after the huge adverse impact COVID restrictions have had across most of our local businesses.
We are all feeling social isolation at this time, the lack of physically being with our friends and families pulls at us all. We know that providing social interaction and varied exercise is important for mental and physical health and well-being for all of our community. Whilst it is very important for the young need to be able to enjoy play and sport with their friends, we should not underestimate the importance of the opportunity for our senior citizens to engage in safe group activities, especially after feeling so vulnerable during the pandemic. An Aquatic Centre will provide the means to do this.
With the development of the new Junior High School and expansion at the Star of the Sea, there is likely to be an increase in younger families being drawn to the area, especially now it has been clearly established that people can work remotely. This will mean an increase in the numbers of children on Phillip Island and surrounds. We need to cater for this so that we can provide basic water safety classes for children as mandated by the State government. Currently, there is simply not the capacity to do so on Bass Coast Shire. For children who live on an Island, not being able to swim can be life threatening. Having a pool on Phillip Island will address this and result in more confident children, who may even become our future life-savers.
Perhaps the most important aspect of building a swimming pool on Phillip Island will be creating a positive mindset for the future. After all, Islanders will be seeing a dream fulfilled that has been identified as the most desired improvement on Phillip Island by the residents for nearly a quarter of a century.
Why not become a member and hear more of our ideas at our upcoming Virtual AGM on the 6th October.