Labor makes indoor pool pledge

Tara Murray

An indoor aquatic centre will be built at the Drysdale Sports Precinct if the Labor Party wins next year’s federal election.

On Wednesday, the party committed $20 million to build an all year-round facility, including a 50-metre indoor pool with movable floor and dry spaces for community functions, classes and rehab.

Currently, there are plans with for a new 50-metre outdoor pool after the City Hall endorsed concept plans for the facility and put forward funding in its draft 2021-22 budget.

The federal Liberal Party has previously committed $10 million to the outdoor pool project.

Federal opposition spokeswoman for infrastructure and regional development Catherine King said Labor’s pledge would help deliver a first-class aquatic centre for the Bellarine.

“This commitment means that the Bellarine will finally have a top-quality, aquatic centre ready to be used by the entire community all year round,” she said.

“Aquatic centres are vital community infrastructure heavily used by people of all ages. It’s important these facilities are built properly to maximise community usage and maximise the value of the significant public funding investment.

“Unlike an outdoor pool that is only used for lap swimming a few months each year, this will be a high-tech, year-round facility suitable for the entire community.”

Corangamite MP Libby Coker said she was thrilled to secure funding for an indoor pool.

“This is a good day for young kids on the Bellarine who are learning to swim, residents of all ages trying to keep fit, and people doing rehabilitation, or with disabilities,” she said.

“They can all now have access to a quality aquatic centre, including an indoor pool and allied health services.

“A contained aquatic centre, where you can control heat loss, is also important to building sustainable local infrastructure.”

“Everyone on the Bellarine deserves an aquatic centre and indoor pool that they can use year-round.”