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Port Macquarie Aquatic Facility - Site Selection

Released on: 18 July 2019

Released on: 18 July 2019

An aquatic facility that caters for the region’s continuing growth is a high priority for the Port Macquarie-Hastings community, and at the July meeting, Council resolved to conduct further community engagement on possible sites for a new facility.

The Port Macquarie Pool was built in 1966, and is approaching its used by date, with structural, accessibility, programming and maintenance issues identified as barriers in providing quality swimming facilities for the community into the future.

Other facilities within the current Port Macquarie Pool complex are also reaching the end of their useful life with the toddler’s pool undergoing rectification works in 2017 as a short-term solution to extend its usability.

Council Director Melissa Watkins said that the pool is a major health and recreation facility enjoyed by many, and caters for a wide range of competitive and recreational swimmers.

“Our community is rapidly growing, and with our population expected to reach more than 100,000 by 2030 we need to ensure we can continue to meet our community’s expectations by providing facilities that align with our regional city status, and that both locals and visitors can enjoy,” said Ms Watkins.

“We’ve discussed the future development and upgrade of the Port Macquarie Pool with the community on several occasions, and following on from the latest community engagement in 2017 we are now in a position to seek the community’s feedback on a number of site options.”

In mid 2018 Council engaged Otium Planning Group, a specialist consultancy service with extensive expertise in aquatic facility development and management, who commenced a thorough review of the region’s current aquatic facilities and future needs.

In developing the Port Macquarie-Hastings Aquatics Strategy, Otium have identified and recommended the key components needed to meet the aquatic needs of the community for the next 50 years. These elements include a 50 metre and 25 metre pool, children’s water play, program pools, and fitness & wellness elements.

Based on the community engagement already undertaken, and the Otium report findings, six Council owned or managed sites in Port Macquarie have been identified that could accommodate a new aquatic facility.

 These sites are:

  • Macquarie Park (Gordon Street)
  • Dixie Park (Aston Street)
  • Findlay Park (Findlay Avenue)
  • Upper Oxley Oval (Pacific Drive)
  • Thrumster Sporting Complex (College Drive)
  • Wayne Richards Park (Koala Street)

In addition, there is the alternate option to upgrade the existing site in Gordon Street.

High-level layouts have been developed for each of these sites, and the community are being encouraged to ‘have your say’ on the different site options, and the facilities that might be provided.

“Council have met with key user groups that currently use the identified sites for sporting and related activities, and we are committed to working with these groups to ensure that if a future decision is made to develop a new aquatic facility on one of these sites, any impact will be minimised,” Ms Watkins explained.

“This further community and stakeholder engagement we are undertaking is essential in identifying the preferred option for the Port Macquarie Aquatic Facility, and Council are encouraging the community to get involved and ‘have your say’.”

Following this engagement period, it is proposed that a report will got to Council at the September 2019 meeting for a decision to be made on the preferred site. This will then allow the project to move to Strategic Concept development, followed by Detailed Design, with further community engagement to take place at each stage of the project.

The Port Macquarie Aquatic Facility project is listed as a short-medium term priority in Council’s 2017 - 2025 Recreation Action Plan.

Community engagement will take place from Monday 22 July until Sunday 18 August.

To have your say and for further information visit pmhc.nsw.gov.au/port-macquarie-pool or call Council on 6581 8111.