Margaret McKay-Lownes says the Maryborough Swimming Club is unhappy with plans to replace the city’s 50m pool.
Margaret McKay-Lownes says the Maryborough Swimming Club is unhappy with plans to replace the city’s 50m pool. JOCELYN WATTS

Club in a flap over pool plans

THE MARYBOROUGH Swimming Club is considering launching a campaign against the proposed multi-million dollar re-development of the Maryborough Aquatic Centre.

Concerns have been growing over the future of the centre following discussions last week between MSC – the major user and manager of the pool – and the Fraser Coast Regional Council in relation to plans for the layout of the redeveloped site.

One of these plans – believed to be the council’s preferred plan – includes two 25-metre pools, a learn to swim pool and a water play area.

This would mean the loss of the existing 50-metre pool – and possibly the capacity to host school carnivals and competitions.

It would also mean swimming clubs would only have about 1000 square metres of usable space for training instead of about 1250 square metres.

“We find it incredible that they believe it’s appropriate to replace what we have with two 25m pools,” MSC secretary Margaret McKay-Lowndes said.

“All school carnivals will have to be held in the Bay which means bussing every Maryborough school student to and from the Bay.”

However, the council’s principal officer of major projects, Tracey Genrich said this was “by no means the final plan”.

“This initial plan was based on information gathered during the 2006 consultation on the Maryborough Sport and Recreation Plan ... just a starting point for further consideration.”

Ms Genrich said the council was keen to get the process underway to take advantage of the next round of Queensland Government Major Facilities funding opportunities.

“Following on from the Maryborough Sport and Recreation Plan undertaken by the former Maryborough City Council in 2006, we now need to finalise concept plans and detailed design documentation in readiness for the call for funding submissions.

“The discussions on Tuesday night cantered around our need to commence consultation with the club and the community about redevelopment options.”

She said the council had allowed $1 million in its 2010/11 budget for the re-development of the 50-year-old pool and a further $4.5 million (including grant funds if the application is successful) in the 2011/12 budget.

Ms Genrich said MSC had indicated that it would develop a submission on its views and present it to the council.

“That submission will be welcome and considered as urgently as possible after we receive it so that we can proceed in good time with the funding timetable in mind.”

It was believed the MSC would consider launching a campaign if the council was to push ahead with the plan for two 25-metre pools.



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