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.