Meeting community’s future aquatics facility needs
Thursday 17 November, 2022
Tamworth Regional Council is restarting its conversation with the local community about providing modern aquatics facilities to meet the needs of a growing city into the future – and it has revealed a change to the approach.
Tamworth Region Mayor Russell Webb today reaffirmed the commitment to a Tamworth Regional Aquatics and Leisure Centre adjoining Tamworth Sports Dome and the redevelopment of the Tamworth Olympic Pool site in the CBD.
“The Aquatics and Leisure Centre with multiple pools catering for competitive swimming, injury recovery and learn-to-swim along with the Northern Inland Centre of Sport and Health is a very big ticket item in terms of the money needed for construction – in the order of $60 million and we consider a staged delivery is a much more achievable financial approach,” he said.
“While in the CBD we have a concept known as the Tamworth Adventure Pool, with an estimated cost of $12million, which will be more of a lifestyle and recreation focus while having a design which caters for recreational lap swimmers.
“We see it becoming a destination for people from across our local region as well as the wider New England North West area who are seeking a water recreation experience – not unlike what is offered at Brisbane’s Southbank.
“In Tamworth we will have two separate aquatic facilities with one strategic goal – to provide for future aquatic needs of the whole community.”
The Mayor said Councillors and staff have listened to feedback from community members who use Council’s swimming pools and have modified aquatic facility plans “to better meet the needs they have expressed”.
“How we meet our community’s aquatics facility needs for the future is an important issue and we have been talking about it in detail in the past few years,” he said. “Councillors and I are very keen to now move forward and staff have been doing planning to ensure we are ready to make use of any funding opportunities from the NSW Government and the Australian Government.
“Our community have said loud and clear they want to continue to have two aquatic facilities in Tamworth as well as the pools in our regional locations – and that is what we are working on.”
Councillor Webb said it may be that one of the proposed facilities gets underway before the other but both are equally important in delivering the community’s needs.
“It comes back to which funding opportunities which become available,” he said.
“However, I can assure the community we remain committed to keeping the Tamworth South and West Memorial (Scully) Pool open until the new regional aquatic and leisure centre first stage is open – with its 50 metre indoor pool is complete - to ensure local user groups are not disadvantaged.”
Cr Webb said in recent weeks there have been meetings with representatives of groups who use Tamworth pools to inform them about the change of approach and now Councillors are leading the conversation with the wider community.
‘The future of aquatics in our region’ page has been launched on MyTRC Online Community to share detailed information about the proposed projects. It includes an overview of each facility is proposed to include and some images of the current designs. There is also an online form to allow any community member to provide Council with feedback. The page can be found at https://haveyoursay.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/tamworth-aquatics-future
To progress these facilities, Council intends to commit funds for their design and to apply for upcoming State and or federal funding to ensure these assets are built for the local community.
“I assure the community, Councillors will come back to discuss with them any costs Council and our community may be required to contribute,” said Councillor Webb.
“But how we afford these exciting projects - either through government grants, Council funding or a combination - will be discussed openly by your elected officials.”