The opening of the North Bellarine Aquatic Centre in Drysdale is a dream come true.
Backed by $10 million from the former Coalition government and $5.5 million from council, I am immensely proud to have worked so closely with the community to deliver this wonderful asset for the north Bellarine.
The magnificent 50-metre outdoor pool, heated all year round, along with change rooms, meeting areas, kiosk and lawns will deliver major dividends for community health, well-being and water safety. Situated across the road from three local schools, it is also a wonderful facility for thousands of local students
Delivering the North Bellarine Aquatic Centre has not been without its challenges.
In the face of the state Labor government refusing to fund a new pool for the north Bellarine after Portarlington’s pool closed down, my vision was to build an aquatic centre in two stages which would force Labor to the table.
In 2019, as the member for Corangamite, I secured $10 million to build the pool which was backed by large sections of the community including local swim clubs, while federal and state Labor declined to make any funding commitment.
And of course, that has now meant that federal and state Labor have come to the table for a stage two indoor pool, which is a wonderful outcome for our community. And construction of the indoor pool complex, adjacent to the outdoor pool, will start next year.
It is regrettable, acting Deputy President, that the Albanese Government tried to sink stage one of the North Bellarine Aquatic Centre by attempting to terminate its funding agreement with council and shut down construction of the outdoor pool, remarkably, after works had begun.
Labor’s divisive campaign against the Coalition’s plan to deliver this aquatic centre in two stages was very, very regrettable. I want to thank Trent Sullivan, Stephanie Asher, and our wonderful community for delivering such a wonderful asset for our region.