Despite the heavy rain, a large number of loyal supporters attended last week’s BBIAC meeting at the Catalina Club, keen to hear progress on the development of the Mackay Park precinct.
President of the Batemans Bay Indoor Aquatic Centre Committee, Carolyn Harding, welcomed everyone to the meeting. She reported that she understood that council was impressed with the recommendations of its Sunset Committee on the aquatic centre, arts and cultural facility, tourism accommodation etc. and is working towards an exciting future for the gateway site.
Carolyn then introduced Jeff Morgan, Council’s Manager of Strategic Services, who told the meeting that council had hired consultants and was working with them on a concept plan. He pointed out that the whole precinct needed to be financially viable, necessitating a public private partnership
Above: Jeff Morgan, Pam Shields and Carolyn Harding
It is anticipated that a draft concept plan and business case documents will be available for the Sunset Committee to review in March 2017. When approved, these documents can be used to apply for government and other grants.
Jeff suggested that, while plans for other elements of the overall plan are necessarily vague at this stage, depending on commercial interests and available funds, the concept plan for the aquatic centre can be more specific, as it can be based on recreational facilities included in other aquatic centres in areas with similar populations. These generally include a lap pool, leisure pool and hydrotherapy pool, along with other inclusions such as a sauna, spa, water slide and children’s splash pool.
Jennie Hapgood asked Jeff whether, considering this, and in view of the fact that the current pool is well past its use by date, and costing a considerable amount in maintenance and repairs, consideration could be given to building the aquatic centre while plans for the rest of the site were being finalised.
Jeff agreed that it should be possible. After he had answered a few further questions, Carolyn thanked Jeff for coming and addressing the meeting and giving members an update.
He left the meeting, which then proceeded with other business.