AN AMBITIOUS master plan for the ultra-modern $21m Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre has been revealed by Bass Coast Shire Council.
Now all that’s needed is a big bucket of money to make it a reality.
Broken up into four stages, the master plan includes construction of:
• A new 25m, eight-lane pool, warm water pool, a play area plus change room etc.
• Redevelopment of the current ailing pool and a two court stadium
• Redevelopment of the stadium and gym area
• Possible extra courts depending on demand for the first two
It was originally envisaged that the main new pool would have 10 lanes but, according to a report presented to councillors last week, eight lanes along with the warm water pool presents “the best value facility for the widest range of users.”
It would also cost an extra $1m for two more lanes.
While it all sounds very exciting, it will be several years before construction would start, with the shire’s Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) indicating there would be no plan to commence development until 2020.
Supporting adoption of the master plan at last week’s council meeting, Cr Neil Rankine said it’s critical such a facility is built in Wonthaggi.
“The next step is to create a business plan and really (look) for potential funding sources,” he added.
Cr Phil Wright noted that the redevelopment is “going to cost”, but it will lead to a healthier community.
“Somehow we have to make this financial,” he said, before referring to the possibly decade-long timeframe of the project being completed.
“Some of us aren’t too young anymore (so) I don’t know whether any of us will get to actually jump into the pool.
“It looks lovely on paper, though.”

What about PI?

Being careful not to present a major step forward in plans for the Wonthaggi pool without mention of Phillip Island, council officers also made sure to present an update the status of a similar facility planned for Cowes.
At the same meeting last week, it was confirmed that 50-54 Church Street has been identified as the preferred site of the facility, with the next step being the development of a detailed concept plan.