By Aaron Goodwin
The site of a brand new Bundaberg aquatic centre has been revealed, with plans to construct the state-of-the-art facility next door to the existing Bundaberg Multiplex, on the corner of Walker Street and Pyefinch Boulevard.
Bundaberg Regional Council is now in the planning stage for the construction of the new Bundaberg Regional Aquatic facility.
The construction of the new aquatic centre, estimated to generate $23 million for the region’s economy in the construction phase and $2.6 million five years post construction when in operation, will see Anzac Park undergo a $19million redevelopment into the Bundaberg Riverside Recreation Park.
Council’s executive director strategic projects and economic development Ben Artup said these two exciting projects would leave a generational legacy through important social infrastructure.
“The Anzac Park redevelopment will unlock the riverside precinct as community space for recreation and entertainment,” Mr Artup said.
“The longer-term plan is to connect the riverside with the CBD.
“A new state-of-the-art regional aquatic centre will provide a modern swimming facility for competitive events and deliver year-round health benefits.”
Proposed stage 1 works for the aquatic centre include:
• A new FINA standard, covered, 50m, heated competition pool will support regional and state level events and training camps;
• A cafe, open space and playground;
• Grassed spectator seating area;
• Toilets, amenities, plant and pool infrastructure s to support stage one elements and subsequent stages.
Subsequent stages of the aquatic centre project will include additional indoor pools as well as fitness, teaching and therapy rooms.
The redevelopment of Anzac Park aims to create an active space adjacent the CBD on the bank of the Burnett River in addition to a flexible outdoor event space and a memorial avenue commemorating the regions service personnel.
Development features of the Bundaberg Riverside Recreation Park include;
• Wet and dry play spaces;
• A cultural hub overlooking the river;
• An outdoor event space and stage;
• Improved access to the riverside walkway.
State and Federal Government funding applications will be submitted for both projects with council hopeful work can commence in 18 months.
“We’re hoping the State and Federal Governments will support grant applications to stimulate the local economy, create jobs and improve social infrastructure,” Mr Artup said.
“The funding mix will vary depending on the response of other governments.
“It’s important to note that council will coordinate the closure of the old pool with the opening of the new aquatic centre to minimise disruption.
“The Anzac tradition will continue to be integral at Anzac Park, we’ve already had discussions with the RSL about that and we’ll continue discussions with pool users and interested residents about ways in which to record and celebrate the pool’s heritage.”
Council estimates that the redevelopment of Anzac Park will a $15.4 million impact on GRP during construction and a $5.7 million injection to GRP five years post construction.
Jobwise, the redevelopment of Anzac Park will produce 106 fulltime job in construction, 28 fulltime jobs five years post construction and for the aquatic centre, 126 fulltime jobs in construction and 24 when operational.
There has already been extensive consultation with pool users and other stakeholders with broader community consultation on design elements for both projects to come.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the aquatic centre project will deliver one of the most significant sports and recreation facilities in the modern history of Bundaberg.
“It will provide year-round fitness, health and leisure activities, and has the ability to attract regional and state events,” Cr Dempsey said.
“We’ve listened to the community and want to ensure a smooth transition from the outdated Anzac Park Pool to a new and improved aquatic centre.
“The riverside precinct will be opened up to create a vibrant community space which connects to the CBD.”
Tenders for the construction phase of both projects will be called and assessed in accordance with Council’s procurement policy which has a local-buy weighting for local suppliers and local jobs.