Circular Head Aquatic Leisure Centre
Please see the following concerns and facts about the Circular Head Aquatic Leisure Centre. Council selected the Smithton CBD for a new Circular Head Aquatic Leisure Centre at its meeting on July 19, 2012.
A quarterly newsletter is also being produced to help keep the community informed about the progress of the centre, which is available below. You can subscribe to the newsletter by emailing email@example.com
CONCERN: The Circular Head Aquatic Leisure Centre will have major effects on parking and traffic flows in the CBD.
FACT: It is expected that car parking in the King St car park, which includes 60 parking spaces, will at least double as part of the development. Traffic flows and management will be studied by qualified professionals as part of the planning for the development.
CONCERN: Why not just upgrade the existing pool?
FACT: The current Circular Head War Memorial Pool was built in the late 1950s and does not meet current standards. The current state of the building means that it has to be replaced and cannot be refurbished.
CONCERN: The current pool doesn’t get used, why build a new one?
FACT: More than 14,312 visits to the pool were recorded in the last financial year (7476 children/toddlers, 6265 adults (of which 571 were concession)). These figures do not include learn to swim classes, the Circular Head Swimming Club, Circular Head Schools and private usage by sporting and community groups, ladies night and individuals. It is expected that with the construction of the Circular Head Aquatic Leisure Centre this figure will increase because of access to additional facilities such as a gym, access to health and other services.
CONCERN: It will be far too expensive to go to the new pool.
FACT: While costs of using the new facility are a long way from being worked out, entry fees will be kept to a reasonable cost particularly to ensure the facility is accessible to a wide range of people. This is a central aim of Council. The fact that the centre will include other tenancies such as a gym, allied health and a cafe will help Council keep costs down.
CONCERN: The Aquatic Leisure Centre will negatively impact on local business.
FACT: The centre will include other services that are designed to complement not only the pool itself, but also surrounding businesses. The intention is for people to be able to use the pool, gym, health and other services and then other businesses or vice versa, not to compete with them. The Aquatic Leisure Centre will also have its own business plan to help ensure that it is not an excessive liability for Council. Existing local businesses will be invited to apply in the first instance for the tenancies that will become available.
CONCERN: There was not enough consultation, why not hold a public forum?
FACT: Council conducted a number of face-to-face meetings with local businesses, information sessions, presentations to community groups, advertisements, media releases, promotion via the Mayor’s Message, information on Council’s website and an integrated social media campaign. The information sessions were presented like a forum, so people were able to ask questions and get answers. This level of consultation was signed off by a majority of Councillors.
CONCERN: Council has ignored the petition in relation to the pool.
FACT: A petition signed by 683 people was presented to Council at its meeting on June 21. At that meeting Council voted to receive the petition; endorse the petition to be included into the formal public consultation process closing 29 June; and to write to the author of the petition advising of the Council decision. While the petition called on the Council and Councillors to “abandon the proposed Smithton CBD site” it also asked Council to “involve the community in identifying the most appropriate location and design options ensuring flexibility to cater for the maximum variety of users, activities and privacy.” The petition also called on Council to “prepare a comprehensive engagement process designed to help the community understand what Council has done so far, with a clear rationale for the pool locations being considered. This in turn will build a solid understanding of the background, process, budget and desired outcomes using a range of communication and engagement channels ensuring a broad, fair and diverse participation. This process will allow both existing pool users and the broader community the opportunity to ask questions and to build knowledge around the aquatic centre, its history, location, usage and potential and contribute input around selection criteria. The application and sites available needs (sic) to be debated by the entire community before it is given approval by the council.”
All of the requests for engagement were included in the consultation process. However, abandoning the CBD site prior to consultation would have been contradictory to the main argument of the petition, which was to “involve the community in identifying the most appropriate location and design options ensuring flexibility to cater for the maximum variety of users, activities and privacy.”
If you have further questions about the Circular Head Aquatic Leisure Centre or its location please contact Council on (03) 6452 4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Background information including the selection process on the Circular Head Aquatic Leisure Centre is available by clicking here