Second 50m pool plan sinks
COUNCILLORS have sunk a proposal to build a second heated, 50m pool at Rockhampton's $17 million Southside swimming complex redevelopment.
Even as workmen put the finishing touches to the world-class, 10-lane Olympic-standard pool ahead of a formal opening this week, the council informed Swimming Australia of its decision.
"We looked at all the options. It was a tough decision but it was going to cost too much money," said parks and recreation committee chairman Cr Cherie Rutherford yesterday.
Swimming Australia last month told the council it would stand more chance of attracting top national competitions if it built a second 50m pool which could be used for warm-ups ahead of races.
Engineers considered refurbishing the 1960s pool, but Cr Rutherford said they found it was leaking badly and would cost $3 million to repair.
So the council will stick with its original plan to build a 25m eight-lane heated pool with disabled ramp access.
"There were no guarantees from Swimming Australia that if we met their requests that we would get any national standard carnivals," said Cr Rutherford.
But she said she was confident that the redeveloped complex would be so attractive it would stage state and regional championships in the future as well as providing excellent training opportunities for the region's budding champions.
The council still has to agree ON admission charges to the new pools, both for recreational swimmers and clubs and is under pressure to keep costs down.
Last year representatives from the clubs pleaded for charges to be affordable or risk a boycott.
The redevelopment is partly funded by federal, state and local governments.
- Redevelopment of the old WWII Memorial Swimming Complex will cost $17 million.
- The State Government contribution is $10 million.
- The pools will be heated to around 28 degrees Celcius year round.