$8.5m pool revamp plan passed

Most councillors supported the proposal at a meeting last week, which would see the facility upgraded in two stages with a 20-year payment plan.

Stage one includes an indoor heated pool, new change rooms (male, female and family), reception and administration facilities, function room, retail store and golf pro store, improved cafe, a water playground and upgraded upper parking.

Stage two would include a new gym and lower-level parking.

Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said it was important to think long-term.

“You’ve got to think 25-30 years ahead for our grandchildren and theirs,” Mr Barker said.

“We know there is an ageing population and we also know heated pools are good for rehabilitation.

“It’s an excellent concept and an excellent plan.”

Councillors Karen Wood, Jill Goetze and Chris Mews spoke in support of the development, with Cr Goetze saying the change rooms were “dated and inadequate”.

“We as a council have a chance to build on a legacy and build an outstanding facility,” Cr Goetze said.

“It is a large amount of money but it’s small compared with the initial cost to build it and we’ll get additional ratepayers when the north-west precinct comes online.

“The upgrade is about the children, grandkids and their kids and I’m very much in favour.”

Councillors Alastair Tulloch and Bruce Haynes spoke against the plan.

“I’m strongly against it; 97 per cent of people surveyed were happy with the pool’s present status,” Cr Tulloch said.

“What the public wants is more water and despite spending close to $9 million, the water area is only going to increase by 10 per cent.”

Cr Tulloch also said the council should not compete with eight privately owned gyms in the area.

Cr Haynes said the proposal would be replicating existing facilities nearby, as Bold Park Aquatic Centre had two heated pools.

“I would prefer to provide something not locally available,” Cr Haynes said. “It’s a gross misjudgement of Council to pass it as it stands.”