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Mayoral report takes 50m pool off the table


Item 6 of a Mayoral Report tabled at today's council meeting takes any prospect of a 50m pool off the table The part motion of "Not include a 50m pool in the proposed centre or retain the existing 50m pool" was endorsed by all the Councillors (Clr Nathan was absent) except for Councillor McGinlay who raised exception that by adopting the Mayoral Minute it closed down any ongoing discussion with the community in regards to the 50m pool issue. Of interest to those pursuing a 50m facility there was the inclusion of an item to "Investigate the potential for the provision of long distance swimming facilities in the ocean at an appropriate location in the Batemans Bay area." In her Mayoral Report Mayor Liz Innes states: "I have heard these messages from the community, loud and clear, and with my fellow Councillors we are now acting on them. I am excited that the potential to finally deliver these much needed facilities for our community is closer than it has ever been. Council is doing everything it can to ensure we are successful in receiving sufficient grant funding and the $26m from the NSW Government is a great step forward." "The business case demonstrates that we can build the Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre for approximately $46m and the ongoing operational costs over ten years are affordable." "Based on all of the community engagement Council has undertaken over the last two decades, it is clear that the concept plan delivers on the community’s highest priorities for an indoor aquatic centre and a purpose-built performing arts space. Most members of the community simply want Council to get on and build it." "One of the suggestions I and my fellow councillors have heard, including from the Batemans Bay Swim Club, is that the 25m lap pool should be increased from 8 lanes to 10 lanes to increase capacity for lap swimming. This would also ensure the pool exceeds compliance requirements for short course competitions. I am of the view that this can be accommodated within the centre without affecting the affordability of the project. This will need to be tested through the detailed design process, but I recommend to my fellow Councillors that we resolve to support this change to the concept plan being considered in the detailed design phase." The mayoral report also states "Another suggestion I have heard is that Council should investigate the potential for providing for long distance lap swimming in the ocean through a dedicated netted area. This suggestion was raised by members of the Batemans Bay Swim Club. The provision of an ocean netted area may be an appropriate and more cost-effective alternative to the retention or refurbishment of the existing 50m pool at Batemans Bay. It would certainly be more affordable than including an indoor 50m pool in the proposed centre. It would also potentially be a great tourist drawcard as are similar netted swimming areas around Australia. I think this is an option worth exploring and discussing with our community." The recommendation of the Mayoral report was THAT Council: 1.Thank the Premier the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP and the Member for Bega the Hon. Andrew Constance MP for coming to Batemans Bay on 26 March 2018 to announce $26m of funding towards the construction of the Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre at Mackay Park Batemans Bay. 2.Continue to advocate to the NSW and Australian Governments for funding to complete the Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre. 3.Confirm that the Option 1 concept plan prepared by Otium Planning Group,is endorsed as the basis for undertaking the detailed design of the Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre at Mackay Park Batemans Bay. 4.Note that the ultimate design and components of the proposed centre are dependent on the total amount of grant funding received. 5.Support the inclusion of a 25m by 10 lane lap pool as a key component of the proposed centre, in addition to the dedicated warm water therapy, leisure and learn to swim,splash play area and waterslide components. 6.Not include a 50m pool in the proposed centre or retain the existing 50m pool. 7.Confirm that, during the design phase, consideration will be given to the potential to expand the facility, if and when needed into the future. 8.Note that, during the design phase, the capital and operational costs of the proposed centre will need to be reviewed to ensure the centre is affordable for our community. 9.Note that further engagement will be undertaken with the community during the detailed design phase and that a further report will be presented to Council in due course to endorse a Community Engagement Plan for this phase of the project that is being developed in collaboration with the Mackay Park Sunset Committee. 10.Investigate the potential for the provision of long distance swimming facilities in the ocean at an appropriate location in the Batemans Bay area. 11.Proceed with the issuing of Request for Expressions of Interest from development companies or consortiums to redevelop the northern precinct of Mackay Park (the former Bowling Club site) for appropriate uses consistent with the preferred development outcomes previously identified and agreed by Council. When asked by Councillor Mayne for more clarity on item 7 that said "consideration will be given to the potential to expand the facility, if and when needed into the future" and if that included a 50m pool the General Manager responded that it could or might also include sculpture gardens or anything the community might want at that time. You can read the Mayoral Report in full HERE

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