Feedback sought on Stage 2 of pool proposal

November 30, 2021 BY

Cr Stephanie Asher's last day as mayor will be June 15. Photo: SUPPLIED

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In April this year the Greater Geelong council made a resolution to deliver badly needed new aquatic facilities for the north Bellarine in a two-stage process.

At that time, we endorsed concept plans for a 50-metre outdoor pool at the Drysdale Sports Precinct, in line with our $10 million funding agreement with the Australian Government.

We also agreed to advocate for funding for complementary indoor facilities, which would form a future Stage 2 of the project.

The 50-metre outdoor pool – Stage 1 – has since progressed to construction tender and will come to the council before the end of the year to be awarded.

The next step in the process is for construction to begin in the early months of next year, with the pool to open late in 2022 or early in 2023.

In line with council’s resolution, the City of Greater Geelong is now seeking community feedback to help shape the design of Stage 2.

This is proposed to feature a warm water exercise pool, learn to swim program pool, water play pool, spa, sauna and steam room, as well as a gym, group fitness studios, health consulting suites, accessible change facilities and a cafe.

The two stages together will create a comprehensive Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Drysdale that addresses the shortfall in aquatic facilities on the north of the Bellarine and offers facilities not available at the indoor centre in Ocean Grove.

Your feedback on the proposed Stage 2 will be used to develop concept plans, which the City of Greater Geelong will then use to advocate for $45 million in funding support from the Victorian and Australian Governments.

We have already received terrific feedback from members of the advocacy group, including catering for a range of aquatic exercise options – from gentle to vigorous – rather than seeing ‘aquarobics’ as a one-size-fits-all activity.

Please visit yoursay.geelongaustralia.com.au/nbalc to provide feedback and to receive project updates as they happen.

Further information includes the annual cost of heating and maintaining swimming pools, which is roughly the same for indoor and outdoor facilities at around $700,000 plus staff costs.

And it’s important to note that all facilities at the city aim to use the highest level sustainable design principles, including solar panels for both stages of the aquatic facility.

The council’s agreed two-stage process to deliver both indoor and outdoor heated pools is based on extensive planning, consultation and the identified need for a new centre for the north Bellarine community, including more than 3,500 students who attend local schools adjacent to the site.

We look forward to receiving your input.

Festive cheer

I’m not alone in saying that it’s been hard to plan over the past two years with the pandemic restrictions and sheltering at home at different times.

However, council has worked hard to make sure this year’s Christmas program would be ready to go and we agreed to roll it out early to bring some cheer.

The Floating Christmas Tree is dazzling in Corio Bay and the nightly sound and light shows are wowing locals and visitors of all ages.

The show is different to last year’s and there are actually three different shows this time around, spread across November, December and January.

City Hall is coming alive with festive projections after dark and the Catenary Star at the Moorabool-Malop street intersection is shining bright each night.

If you’ve got a little one in schools like Surfside Primary or Portarlington Primary School, it’s time to visit their decorated Christmas trees that are displayed along Little Malop Central and in the forecourt at Johnstone Park. It would be a perfect photo opportunity.

Speaking of photo opps, the Giant Christmas Selfie Trail will feature 22 destinations across the region, including along the Bellarine.

There will be five artworks for the Bellarine community to enjoy at Drysdale, Leopold, Portarlington, Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads.

While the program runs through to January, it’s worth getting in early and beating the holiday crowds.

Plan out your activities with the family by heading to geelongaustralia.com.au/christmas.

Cr Stephanie Asher,