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Liberals’ plan to deliver North Bellarine Aquatic Centre a dream come true

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 government refusing to fund a new pool for the north Bellarine, 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 a 50-metre outdoor pool complex which was backed by large sections of the community including local swim clubs, while Labor’s Libby Coker declined to make any funding commitment.

By building the stage one outdoor pool and advocating for a stage two indoor pool, our plan was to secure $40 million in bipartisan support to guarantee the delivery of a state-of-the-art indoor pool complex, complete with learn-to-swim and warm water pools, gymnasium and fitness rooms.

I am delighted that construction of the indoor pool complex, adjacent to the outdoor pool, will start next year.

It is regrettable the Albanese Government tried to sink this project by attempting to terminate its funding agreement with council and shut down construction of the outdoor pool after works had begun.

Richard Marles and Libby Coker’s divisive campaign against the Coalition’s plan to deliver an aquatic centre in two stages, comprising both outdoor and indoor pools, put Labor’s political interests ahead of the north Bellarine community.

I thank the Community Advisory Panel for its extensive work with council to ensure the people of the north Bellarine have an aquatic centre they deserve.

I also thank mayor Trent Sullivan and former mayor, Stephanie Asher, who worked tirelessly to put the community first and deliver the North Bellarine Aquatic Centre.

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