Aquatics options down to two

19 April 2016

AlburyCity's Community and Cultural Committee is recommending that Council consider only two options for the future of aquatic facilities in Albury. 

If it is decided to build a new aquatic facility, it would be at least five years before it opened. 

The two recommended options are the retention of the existing Albury and Lavington swim centres and no new indoor facility, or a new regional indoor aquatic facility at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre and retain the Albury Swim Centre. 

The recommendation to council includes progressing to the next stage, which will involve the development of concept plans, financial modelling, business cases and funding strategies for the two preferred options.

Chair of the Community and Cultural Committee David Thurley thanked everyone who took the time to have a say on what aquatic facilities they would like for Albury's future and said Council would discuss the two preferred options at its meeting on Tuesday 26 April.

He said the two options being presented were the result of an extensive community consultation process in which residents were asked to consider seven options.

"We received close to 1000 submissions, both on and off-line as well as through information sessions, the aquatics facilities advisory committee and a petition lodged by the Albury Diving Club," Cr Thurley said.

Around 50% of submissions were in support of a regional aquatic facility with a 51.5metre indoor pool at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre. There was little support for the two options proposing a 25metre indoor pool, or closing both the existing facilities in favour of one regional facility.

Cr Thurley said he was pleased with the number of submissions, which will give Council a better understanding of the community's views. This includes the diving club petition requesting springboard diving facilities be included in any future options. 

He said if Council endorses the committee's recommendation, there is a significant process to be undertaken before a final decision is made on the future of aquatics in Albury.

"If the Council agrees to a new regional facility, and subsequently obtains appropriate external funding it would be at least five years before it opened," Cr Thurley said.

Meanwhile, the committee will recommend to Council that it adopt the Lavington Sports Ground master plan and commence the redevelopment project.

Following a four-week public exhibition period, there were no significant issues identified although the master plan has been slightly modified based on community feedback.