Tilers Luke Woods and Bobby Modica finish off the tiling at the new Southside Olympic Pool.
Tilers Luke Woods and Bobby Modica finish off the tiling at the new Southside Olympic Pool. Chris Ison

Rocky urged to add extra pool

ROCKHAMPTON'S Southside swimming complex could end up with not one heated Olympic-sized pool, but two.

Councillors have agreed to carefully consider a request from Australia's premier swimming organisation to provide a second 50-metre pool as part of the $17 million redevelopment of the 1960s complex.

The original plan was to create a state-of-the-art 10-lane pool, suitable for the highest level of national and international competition, and a 25-metre eight-lane heated pool with a disabled ramp access suitable for learn-to-swim sessions and recreational swimming.

But as contractors put the finishing touches to the 50-metre pool, the project control group and Swimming Australia this week requested a dramatic rethink.

A letter from Swimming Australia's chief executive Kevin Neil says the current design, with a 25-metre pool for warm-ups and cool downs, "will make it difficult to host the most significant of national events".

Councillors discussed the issue behind closed doors this week and were advised by their senior officers that it was hard to justify the additional cost of either building a new 50-metre pool or refurbishing the old pool which has cracked, leaking walls.

Peter Davidson, the council's strategic manager of assets, facilities and major projects, advised that there was no firm commitment from Swimming Australia to stage events. But the councillors voted unanimously in closed session to investigate the proposal in detail and vote on it at the end of January.

The council papers say it will cost $1.25 million to build a new 25-metre pool, $2.93 million for a new $50-metre pool and $1.8 million to refurbish the existing pool.



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