Residents to have another say on pool

27 June 2016

Voters in the AlburyCity Council election on 10 September will be asked if they support a new indoor regional aquatic centre that would be built at Lauren Jackson Sports Centre.

Council tonight voted to hold the special poll, which follows an extensive community consultation process open to all residents and has generated about 1200 submissions from individuals and community groups.

Earlier this year AlburyCity asked the community to indicate its preferred option from a list of seven options for aquatic facilities for Albury's future.

About 50 per cent 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.

The two recommended options before Council are the retention and redevelopment 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.

Council has information in relation to the aquatics strategy and options available on its website.

Councillors tonight voted to supply the following background information and ask a yes or no answer question:

Council has resolved to further develop design, feasibility and costing around two possible swimming pool options (inclusive of 1m and 3m springboard diving facilities) for the draft AlburyCity Aquatics Strategy.

The 2 options are:
1. Retain and redevelop the existing Council swimming pool facilities at Albury and Lavington
2. Retain and redevelop the swimming pool facilities at Albury only and develop a new indoor
regional aquatic centre located adjoining the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre site.
Question:  "Are you in favour of Albury City Council spending up to $50M to build a new FINA (International Swimming Federation) standard Aquatic centre and closing the Lavington swimming pool facility?”

Mayor Henk van de Ven said Council had already done extensive community consultation but Councillors decided the significance of the required investment warranted a special poll as part of the upcoming election.

“We want the best possible picture of what the community wants,” Cr van de Ven said. “Even if we stick with our current pools and don't build an indoor aquatics facility, it will be a big investment and we need to know what the community wants.”

The poll – and the election - will be managed by the NSW Electoral Commission.  The poll will cost AlburyCity an estimated $26,000.

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