The future of Maryborough Outdoor Pool

A report on the future of Maryborough’s heritage listed 50m swimming pool was approved by Council at the July Council meeting last night (26/07).

The Council will continue to advocate with state and federal governments for funding to rebuild Maryborough’s 50m outdoor pool, with the pool set to close until funding is secured.

The decision comes after a new assessment of the pool identified that the pool’s condition has declined since the previous assessment in April 2021, with the pool having reached the ‘end of life’ stage and cannot be reopened. until the pool is demolished and rebuilt. .

Using the $2 million Victorian Government funding announced in 2020 on the 50m pool would be a short-term repair job and would not address the increasingly declining integrity of the pool’s shell.

The Council is working with Heritage Victoria to use the $2 million in funding to upgrade the octagonal pool, engine room and main entrance building, which will help preserve this important heritage complex.

The Council will work with Heritage Victoria to ensure that the heritage significance of the complex is maintained.

The council is working with Unified Community Sport and Leisure to create opportunities for local residents to access alternative pool facilities over the upcoming summer season. Free entry to the Dunolly and Talbot outdoor pools will be offered with extended opening hours and free youth entry vouchers (via the FReeZA and Engage program) will be offered at the Maryborough Sports and Leisure Centre.

Central Goldfields Shire Maryborough ward councilor Geoff Lovett said it was a thoughtful and difficult decision for the council to make.

“We understand that the closure will cause inconvenience and disappointment to our local community. We know the facility is very popular with our local residents and the wider community.

“The reality is that the pool is over 80 years old. We can’t justify spending $2 million on the pool, which would just be a catch-up job. Essentially, we would be back in that position in a few years, when the integrity of the pool would have declined even further.

“The Council’s report provided us with three construction options: remedial works only; repair the pool base and membrane; and demolish and rebuild. Demolish and rebuild is our best option with the best return on investment. It will provide our community with a safe and “fit for purpose” 50 meter swimming pool for future generations to enjoy.

“To help ensure that our community can still access aquatic facilities during the upcoming 2022/23 summer season, we are pleased to be able to offer free entry to the Dunolly and Talbot outdoor pools as well as extended opening hours and free vouchers. for young people (through the Freeza and Engage program) which will be offered at the Maryborough Sports and Leisure Centre.

“We will also work closely with schools, the Maryborough Swimming Club and the Maryborough District Triathlon Club to help them hold their carnivals and school events at alternative facilities.

“We will continue to advocate tirelessly with state and federal governments for the $6 million we need to rebuild this heritage, recreational and sporting icon to ensure it can be enjoyed by future generations. “

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Richard F. Gandhi