Going into this LGA election, we believe that the BCSC has secured the land for this project, a major milestone in this project and must be celebrated. We have also heard that a firm has been employed to develop two sets of plans for two Aquatic Centres, one to be built in Wonthaggi and one on Phillip Island.
The Bass Coast Shire population is scheduled to grow across the Shire, with both the Phillip Island and Wonthaggi population forecast to double in the 15 years from 2015-2030. In an ideal world, BCSC would build two equivalent ‘50m sister pools’ in the Shire, helping heal any ‘Us/Them’ divide that exists in the Shire. Whether this is possible, we don’t know but it would be a wonderful outcome for the community and a great example of equity for all residents and ratepayers. Even the building of two equivalent 25m pools, designed to be extended to 50m if finances allow, is desirable. Economic modelling leads PIACF to believe that a 50m Aquatic Centre will pay its way on Phillip Island, plus provide a huge boost for tourism in the Shire and its economy.
Phillip Island has a huge amount of accommodation available, meaning that a Phillip Island pool can be marketed for multi-day training camps and carnivals. The draw-card of holding such events in a tourist destination appears to be very strong with the committee already approached about these, even though we have no pool! There is also a seasonal demand from tourists and school camps (estimated at 40 – 50,000 people p.a.) that could be tapped into on the Island. These factors lead PIACF to strongly advocate for a 50m pool for Phillip Island.
When building two Aquatic centres, PIACF believes that the order in which they are built is very important. If Wonthaggi is built first, all those who currently use the centre will not be able to swim/exercise/learn to swim for some 18-24 months. By contrast, if a new centre is built on Phillip Island first, then current users can still swim/exercise/learn to swim, by traveling to the Island as Phillip Island residents currently do.
Will the candidates running for this year’s LGA election continue with the historic behaviour or will they change the course of history and make the decision to build two 50m pools centre and build the first Aquatic Centre on Phillip Island?
Growing tourism is critical for Bass Coast Shire to blossom post-COVID; a Phillip Island pool will move us in the right direction!
Why not become a member and hear more of our ideals at our upcoming Virtual AGM on the 6th October, just go to our web site www.piac.org.au