Aquatic centre tender possible this year
The long-awaited $11.5 million Onslow Aquatic Centre could have a builder contracted to it by early 2016.
Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said the council had passed the latest concept and design for the project.
“The relevant documentation will now be prepared to enable a design and construct tender to be advertised later this year,” she said.
The council endorsed a master plan for the project in 2010 for a 25m by 6m pool with an amenities building and kiosk.
In July last year, the originally planned site for the pool between the multipurpose facility and the old basketball courts was deemed inappropriate and it was decided it would be relocated to a lot on McRae Avenue adjacent to the sports oval.
The project will be funded with $7 million from Chevron tied in with their State Agreement for the Wheatstone Project, $1.5 million from the Shire’s community development fund, and $2.5 million earmarked out of the Shire’s long-term financial plan.
The latter has caused concern for the Shire given recent property revaluations and the State Government’s rates policy.
Although funding for the aquatic centre should be secure as well as ongoing operational costs, less revenue could affect other long-term financial plan projects with some maybe needing to be “deferred if alternative replacement revenue is not located,” according to Shire documents.
Volunteering Minister Tony Simpson says the State has “a large self-drive tourism market”.