By Aaron Goodwin
Thanks to a $13 million investment from the State Government, both the State and Bundaberg Regional Council estimate that full construction of the state-of-the-art Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre will done by July 2024.
Construction on the project’s first stage, costed at over $30 million, will get underway next year.
The total facility is set to cost $45 million, with the State’s $13.03 million funding through the latest round of Works for Queensland fund accelerating the completion timeline.
The FINA-standard complex will feature a 50-metre heated and undercover competition pool, cafe and grassed spectator area, with the facility to be open all year round to the public.
The site for the aquatic centre will be next door to the Bundaberg Multiplex on Pyefinch Boulevard.
Stage 1 construction works include:
-FINA-standard 50m pool, 10 lanes, heated, undercover
-Moveable boom (to section the pool off to shorter distances if desired)
Mayor Jack Dempsey said that the construction of the new aquatic centre will be a legacy project for the region and will meet the needs of the community for the next 50 years.
”This is super exciting in a time where were talking about having dreams of the 2032 Olympics going forward,” Cr Dempsey said.
”Bundaberg wants a modern facility so our young people can have an opportunity to train in world-class facilities.
”This project is about creating jobs, economic development and it’s about livability and lifestyle, not only in the Bundaberg region, but opportunities in the wider regions.
”For young people to be able to attend events and also to tourism and other events it will bring to town.”
The new Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre will be capable of hosting international standard events and the Mayor is hopeful that this facility will attract elite athletes for training and top-level competitions.
”With the help of our Member Tom Smith talking to the Olympics groups and Graham Quirk about opportunities, whether it be in the form of the aquatic facilities, to the beautiful coastline and reefs and everything in between,” Cr Dempsey said.
”We hope to be able to attract other training groups to this centre as well.
”The Olympics is a bonus on top of what will be a piece of infrastructure to last the next 50 years.
”Whilst we have Olympic dreams, we want to make the sure the dreams of people with disabilities and disadvantaged in our community, can have the same aspirations and opportunities like other people across Australia.
”It will be skilled up for people with disabilities and those on NDIS will be able to access programs here at the centre.”
Council has submitted a $5 million funding application to the Federal Government for stage one construction.
Regardless of if the Federal Government comes to the funding party, Mayor Dempsey said that council is committed to stumping up the reminder of the construction cash.
Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the new swimming pool would be a FINA Olympic standard pool.
“This new Olympic-size covered 50 metre pool will not only be a fantastic asset for the health and wellbeing of the people in Bundaberg community, it will provide an important training and competition facility for local kids who dream of one day swimming for Australia,” Mr Smith said.
“And what better time to build an Olympic-size pool than ahead of Queensland’s Olympic bid.
”I took it to the council early when I was elected, with a pitch to build something big.
”Let’s put this Works for Queensland money into building something big for our region and it’s exactly what the council’s done.”
Assistant Minister for Local Government Nikki Boyd said the new Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Facility would support 126 jobs in the construction phase and 40 ongoing jobs.
”It will be a facility that will be a fantastic asset for the Bundaberg community well into the future,” Ms Boyd said.
”The Works For Queensland program is in it’s third round and essentially it’s a partnership between the State Government and councils across the state, where each council gets an allocation of funding.
”Here in Bundaberg we’ve put that money forward for the next two years and it will solely be used for the aquatic centre.
”This is a kickstart to the project and we will be working with council to complete it.”
When asked if the State will throw more money for stage two, Ms Boyd said that the State Government will work with council to get the facility built for the community
Completion of the new Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre will see Anzac Park undergo a $19 million redevelopment into the Bundaberg Riverside Recreation Park.
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.