Aquatic centre start, now to find the money

A NEW 50m Olympic standard swimming pool, half-sized undercover heated pool, water slides, cafes, parkland with barbecues. That's the plan for the former council works depot at Tozer St.

Gympie Regional Council's 2014-15 budget will get the transformation started, with $5 million allocated for design and, with luck, a start on construction.

Mayor Ron Dyne says the council will soon start on the equally important task of convincing other levels of government to part with the necessary cash.

Councillors were told at the recent Australian Local Government Association national general assembly that councils with "shovel-ready" projects would be at the head of the queue for funding.

"Ultimately, the community well-being of a region and its residents is directly influenced by the quality of the community facilities provided," Cr Dyne told Wednesday's budget session of the council.

He said the centre would replace Gympie Memorial Pool, which he described as outdated.

It "does not meet the needs of the community and is almost 60 years old," he said.

The project is estimated to cost $10-$15 million in the long run.

Some early questioning of the Tozer Park location by Southside councillor Mick Curran was overruled in 2012 after urging by Cr Dyne and Cr Ian Petersen.

They successfully argued that any delay in nominating the site, recommended after research by the former Cooloola Shire Council, might jeopardise federal funding.

Director of Engineering Bob Fredman told councillors that the site had ticked all the boxes in previous investigations and would allow for other sports, too.

Gympie Times


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