$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.