Forum to discuss new pool
THERE will be a public forum next week to discuss how to make the most of Rockhampton's new Olympic-standard heated swimming pool.
Immediately after the formalities involved in officially opening the $5 million, 10-lane, 50-metre pool, council representatives met with user-groups who have openly expressed fears that charges will make it too expensive for the region's swimming clubs.
Mayor Brad Carter said there was a continuing debate about a request from Swimming Australia for the redeveloped southside pool complex to include two 50 metre pools.
"There are some misunderstandings about some of these issues. We are committed to engaging with our community to deliver on a project that meets the expectations of the swimming fraternity and the expectations of what we can fit into a construction budget."
He told reporters the council had been advised that the size of the second pool would not be a barrier to attracting high-class state and national competitions.
And he said the council was committed to ensuring the pool was "affordable for this community".
"We will deliver on affordable swimming in this region," he said.
The new pool is the first stage of a $17 million redevelopment of the complex which was first opened in 1959.
It's the only FINA compliant pool in regional Queensland and features state-of-the-art water treatment and sanitation.
Eventually, it will be heated year round to 28 degrees.
An artist's drawing of the finished complex shows a 650-seat grandstand and an elaborate shade structure over the main pool.
The third stage of the development would include a refurbished diving pool, learn to swim facilities and a wet play area for toddlers, as well as a cafe.
Premier Anna Bligh said the project was an example of state, federal and local governments acting in harmony.
"It will be unrivalled in regional Queensland and in regional Australia," she said.
"It's the sort of development that will attract people to the city."