Aquatic cen­tre ten­der pos­si­ble this year

Pilbara News - - News - Peter de Krui­jff

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.

Pic­ture: Steve Ferrier

Volunteering Min­is­ter Tony Simp­son says the State has “a large self-drive tourism mar­ket”.

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