There’s been substantial discussion and lobbying of Council for over twenty years to upgrade the Batemans Bay Swimming Pool. Concepts for a new pool have been developed and spoken of over that time. A new 50 metre pool was part of the discussion. Concept ideas of location were also talked about. The idea of a centralised pool in the Broulee area was promoted by senior employees at council. Changes to the concept idea were made identifying the Hanging Rock Sporting precinct as the place to build a new pool and even a performing arts facility. Grants were applied for as well. During all the discussions a price tag of around $14 million was bandied around. The price was prohibitive just for council to fund. The shire's pools are a subsidised activity provided by council, even the contractors who run them are able to be subsidised in accordance with the contractual arrangements they entered into.
The concept plan produced for yesterdays meeting at the Catalina Club is similar to that talked about in the past with the addition of a performing arts facility.
It seems someone has gone through the archives and found some of the old ideas and dusted them off a bit. It’s obvious without the pressures of the Local Member nothing would have occurred with the claimed present concept plans – ideas. It would be reasonable now though to remain pessimistic I’d suggest in relation to seeing any happening any time soon in relation to a starting time for a new facility.
Another rate rise is likely to occur before there’s any physical actions with a new Aquatic Centre. That’s the reality I’d suggest.
For your readers interest: PerfEx Hanging Rock Report - Feb 2013 A meeting was held at the Council chambers on Tuesday 5th February, at which Kym Shilton gave a presentation to Councillors and an audience of interested parties. Much of the presentation covered the same ground as her presentation to the Hanging Rock Sunset Committee in November. However there has been a major change in the study. Kym presented three options, the first in line with the November presentation which included a 500 seat Performance and Exhibition Centre, the second with a reduced size Centre (200 – 250 seats) and the third with no Performing Arts Centre at all! Where the idea came from to look at these options we don’t know and it is somewhat concerning given that Council gave its agreement to the priority need for a Performance and Exhibition Centre in its consideration of the Shire’s cultural infrastructure needs. Kym also gave estimates of the capital expenditure and operational costs of each option, with the capital cost of Option 1 being $53m; of this around $10m was for the Arts centre. There is still work Kym has to do and at some stage her report will need to go out for public comment. So a final report with recommendations will not go to Council for a few months. Also we don’t know how the final recommendations will be determined but we will press for both the Hanging Rock Sunset Committee and the Eurobodalla Shire Cultural Infrastructure Sunset Committee have an involvement. We are represented on both those Committees.