The first steps are underway for an aquatic centre to be built in Wallan.
Mitchell Shire Council is asking the community through a survey what it would like to see in an aquatic centre for the shire’s south.
The survey is part of a broader study which will identify options for a new aquatic and leisure centre to cater for people in Wallan, Beveridge and the surrounding growth area.
Wallan Needs an Aquatic Centre Now is one of the community groups leading the charge for an aquatic centre in the south.
Committee member Roger Sanders said the group had lobbied hard for an aquatic centre.
“It’s lovely that we’ve got the water park but you can’t learn to swim there. There are a lot of families with aged relatives or kids with disabilities that have to drive to Craigieburn to have water exercise,” he said.
“What we need is a safe, all-year-round, aquatic centre to cater for all ages and abilities to improve the overall community health outcomes and social interactions and water safety for all age groups.”
Mr Sanders said the group’s wish-list for an aquatic centre included an eight-lane indoor heated pool, warm water program pool and spa with ramp access, a leisure pool with a toddler space, sauna and steam rooms and accessible change rooms.
Through the survey, community members are being asked to provide information about what activities, programs and functions they would be likely to use, where they currently access aquatic and leisure facilities, how far they travel to access these services and what would make it easier for people to take part in aquatic activities locally.
The information, along with population projections and leisure industry trends, will be used to help develop options, identify possible locations and examine potential costs for a new aquatic centre as part of the Aquatic Study.
The options gathered from the study will then be presented back to the community for more input at a later stage.
The $150,000 study is funded through the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Bill Chisholm said a new aquatic centre was an exciting project for the shire and likely to be one of the largest council has ever developed.
“At the moment, we’re just seeking community input on what sorts of things people would like to be able to do at the centre,” he said.
“We will then be in a position to have some more in-depth discussions with the community at a later stage as we develop some concepts, explore locations, get some firmer indicative costings.
“Once that more detailed work is finalised, council will then be in a position to prepare a business case, start more detailed planning and get shovel ready so we can start applying for construction funding.”
The survey is available online at www.engagingmitchellshire.com and in hard copy at council’s customer and library service centres, Kilmore Leisure Centre and Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre.