Phillip Island will receive a new aquatic facility after Bass Coast Shire Council moved to develop two facilities in the Shire over the next 10 years.
The Bass Coast Aquatic Strategy was adopted by Council at the tonight’s meeting and confirms Council’s intention to redevelop the Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre, as well as go ahead with the development of an aquatic centre on Phillip Island.
Council has committed $120,000 in the newly adopted 2015-16 Budget to the Phillip Island Aquatic Working Group to prepare site selection recommendations and the development of a concept plan over the coming months.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, said she was happy Council could respond to requests from the Phillip Island community as well as give the Shire’s existing and aging aquatic facility new life.
“There is substantial cost in developing aquatic centres and they need to be viewed as 40-plus year investments which require detailed planning so that each facility meets the needs of all user groups now and into the future,” Cr Brown said.
“The Aquatic Strategy report also recognised there is no provision in Council’s long term financial plan, Securing Bass Coast’s Future, for the construction of any new major aquatic facility prior to 2020.
“It is, however, important to have plans in place now so we can be in the position to seek and apply for funding should the opportunity arise.”
Council’s General Manager Sustainable Development and Growth, Allison Jones, said the report presented to Council noted that there will be a point of difference between the two aquatic centres being proposed.
“Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre could offer fitness and education options, and a Phillip Island Aquatic Centre may feature health and fitness activities and low impact exercise opportunities for older adults such as hydrotherapy,” Ms Jones said.
“Concept plans have already been prepared for the Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre redevelopment.”
Ms Jones said Bass Coast’s population profile, with a median age of 46 years was highlighted in the Strategy as being significantly higher than the state averages.
“It is five years higher than the Victorian Regional Average age of 41, and nine years above Victoria’s average of 37,” Ms Jones said.
“Our ageing population places a new demand for aquatic facilities that include warmer pools suitable for older adult exercises. It is also essential to have a range of pools with different water depths, as well as consider times of operation and affordability.”
Ms Jones said the Strategy also notes recent leisure trends.
“The strong link between active and healthy lifestyles means aquatic and fitness activities are a large part of people’s activity choices,” Ms Jones said.