$5 mil­lion to up­grade Palmer­ston pool


“This pool up­grade is long over­due” BILL SHORTEN

OP­PO­SI­TION Leader Bill Shorten has pledged $5 mil­lion to trans­form the Palmer­ston pool into a mod­ern com­mu­nity hub if La­bor wins gov­ern­ment at this year’s fed­eral elec­tion.

The cash splash would in­clude fund­ing for a re­vamp of the cur­rent 50m pool, a new beach-in­spired leisure pool and fam­ily-friendly ameni­ties such as a bar­be­cue area, a dry play area and an “ad­ven­ture zone” with water slides.

Lo­cal swim­ming com­pe­ti­tions would also be trans­formed with a new spec­ta­tor view­ing area promised.

Mr Shorten said the up­grade to Palmer­ston’s only pub­lic pool was “long over­due”.

“The Palmer­ston pool is al­most 30 years old, and it is in need of se­ri­ous up­grades,” Mr Shorten said.

“Palmer­ston is the sec­ond largest and fastest grow­ing city in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory, with the pop­u­la­tion fore­cast to reach over 70,000 res­i­dents in the fol­low­ing decades.

“The com­mu­nity has been cam­paign­ing long and hard for a new pool and thanks to the ad­vo­cacy of the Mem­ber for Solomon Luke Gosling, La­bor is de­liv­er­ing.”

Mr Shorten said the up­grades, which would in­clude a new “learn-to-swim” sec­tion, will give lo­cal kids greater ac­cess to swim­ming lessons.

“Be­cause the Palmer­ston pool is the only pub­lic pool in the Palmer­ston and sur­round­ing ar­eas which can pro­vide the com­mu­nity with this ac­cess to learn-to-swim classes, up­grad­ing the pool is es­sen­tial,” Mr Shorten said.

The to­tal cost of the project is es­ti­mated at $10 mil­lion

Mr Shorten’s of­fice said La­bor would “work in part­ner­ship with Chief Min­is­ter Michael Gunner and the City of Palmer­ston to make sure (the) vi­tal up­grade is de­liv­ered.”

In 2016 lo­cal res­i­dents and then Palmer­ston Mayor Ian Ab­bott called for a new aquatic cen­tre to be built near Palmer­ston Water Park, cit­ing a lack of mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties and in­creas­ing main­te­nance costs.

At the time Mr Ab­bott said the pool, which was built in the 1980s, was “ap­proach­ing its es­ti­mated life­span”.

Mem­ber for Solomon Luke Gosling said se­cur­ing the up­grade was a com­mu­nity pri­or­ity.

“Lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple of Palmer­ston, it’s clear that the pool is much-loved and cen­tral to the com­mu­nity, but it needs an up­grade,” Mr Gosling said.

The an­nounce­ment comes as Mr Shorten yes­ter­day met with Tra­di­tional Own­ers to an­nounce a $220 fund­ing plan for Kakadu Na­tional Park.

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