News & Media

Another Games venue off and racing

Acting Premier, John Thwaites, and Commonwealth Games Minister, Justin Madden, today unveiled the final design of the 50-metre competition pool at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
The pool, part of a $50 million expansion project by the Bracks Government, will boost the Centre’s ability to host international events, including the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2007 FINA World Swimming Championships.
Unveiling a scale model of the project, Mr Thwaites said it would also improve the day-to-day services on offer to the community.
“The final design of the expanded centre is the result of extensive community consultation that is reflected in the built form of the structure,” Mr Thwaites said.
“Since it opened in 1997, the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre has become a magnet for people wanting to improve their health and well being, as well as the venue of choice for national swimming competitions.
“This expansion will improve the Centre’s capacity to meet all these needs as a lasting legacy of Melbourne hosting the Commonwealth Games.”
Mr Madden said John Holland Pty Ltd had been appointed as the developer of the Stage 2 expansion of the Centre, due to commence in January and be completed by the end of 2005. The development will deliver:
a new 50 metre outdoor competition pool (permanently roofed);
office space for sporting associations;
a dedicated hydrotherapy pool;
a multi storey car park; and
a permanent 3,000 seat grandstand. “On an economic level, the Stage 2 expansion is increasing Victoria’s ability to attract major aquatic events – and the business opportunities that come with them,” Mr Madden said.
“On a social level, it is creating even better facilities where Victorians can be more physically active and come together as a community to celebrate our sporting achievements.”
Mr Madden said sustainability was a core consideration of the expansion, with solar hot water systems, rainwater collection to flush toilets, and the use of recycled materials among initiatives to minimise its environmental impact.
“The Centre will also be sensitive to its immediate surrounds, with the heritage façade of the former Distance Education Centre retained as part of the new Sports House,” Mr Madden said.
Patrons are advised to visit or telephone 9926 1555 for advice on changed traffic and parking conditions during construction.