In what is an incredible win for our region, two state-of-the-art aquatic facilities for Surf Coast and the north Bellarine are now fully funded.

Backed by $30 million from the Morrison Liberal Government, this demonstrates our government’s commitment to getting things done.

North Bellarine aquatic facility

I am delighted that last night City of Greater Geelong councillors endorsed the concept design for Stage 1 of the north Bellarine aquatic facility, along with approving $4.25 million for construction in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 budgets (in addition to $150,000 for a feasibility study in the 2019-20 budget and $750,000 for the design phase in the 2020-21 budget).

Backed by $10 million from the Morrison Government and $5.15 million from the City of Greater Geelong, this is an incredible win for the Bellarine community.

Stage 1 of the aquatic facility comprises a 50 metre eight lane outdoor pool, along with change rooms and a kiosk. While there is a small funding shortfall from the estimated cost of $15.5 million, council advises that “Given the project is still in the estimated cost phase, the 2022-23 budget process will provide an opportunity to vary the allocation within the budget to align with the final contract cost.”

This will be a wonderful asset for local residents including more than 3,500 students who attend local schools adjacent to the proposed site at the Drysdale sports precinct.

The new Stage 1 pool will be heated all year round so as to accommodate a wide range of uses including lap swimming, water exercise activities, learn to swim programs and school swimming sports. I am also delighted that the Stage 1 facility has been designed to accommodate a future Stage 2 facility which I have proposed should include an indoor warm water pool, gymnasium and other facilities.

Rather than cause community division, Labor’s Libby Coker should be lobbying her state Labor colleagues for Stage 2 funding given Labor has made no funding commitment at all.

People power matters which is why I am asking local residents to sign my petition at https://sarahhenderson.com.au/labor-must-fund-stage-2-of-drysdale-aquatic-facility/

Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre

I am also delighted that Surf Coast Shire last night agreed to increase its funding contribution by $500,000 to $5.75 million, meaning that the $39.25 million Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre is now fully funded.

With $20 million in funding from the Morrison Government, this is the most wonderful news. I thank so many local residents who have joined with me in the fight to deliver this most incredible asset for the Surf Coast community.

The Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre will feature an indoor 50 metre pool, a multi-purpose warm water pool, a gymnasium, group fitness rooms as well as allied health suites and community meeting rooms, catering for all ages and abilities.

The proposed site for the centre is on the land adjacent to Wurdi Baierr Stadium in north Torquay.

This funding will deliver a state-of-the-art aquatic centre for which the Surf Coast community have been advocating for a very long time.