East Bentleigh on the starting blocks for new pool
The Bracks Government today announced plans to allocate a pool from the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships to replace the ageing East Bentleigh Memorial Pool in Bailey Reserve.
The Minister for Sport and Recreation, Justin Madden, said the pool had been reserved for East Bentleigh, subject to a review of its constructability by Sport and Recreation Victoria and the City of Glen Eira.
“The East Bentleigh community could soon be setting personal bests in their own world-class pool,” Mr Madden said.
“Next year Australian stars of the water Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett and Brooke Hanson will compete in this pool against the world’s best swimmers at the 12th FINA World Championships.
“The East Bentleigh community has shown a need for improved aquatic facilities and the Member for Bentleigh, Rob Hudson has been extremely vocal in advocating this pool for the community.
“The new pool could replace the East Bentleigh Memorial Pool, which is nearing the end of its life, and offer local access to a world class aquatic facility for a generation, and hopefully give rise to future stars of the water.”
The City of Glen Eira elected to move forward on a design for a seasonal outdoor aquatics facility, including a 50 metre outdoor pool and an indoor multi-use stadium at East Bentleigh, at a council meeting on 4 September.
“I’ve asked Sport and Recreation Victoria to work with the City of Glen Eira to appoint a consultant to determine exactly how this new pool could be used to reduce the cost to the Council and maximise its value and benefit to the local community,” Mr Madden said.
Mr Hudson said the pool would reinvigorate the East Bentleigh facility for community use.
“The provision of a new pool in East Bentleigh is a real must for the community and the World Swimming Championships provides a fantastic opportunity for the City of Glen Eira to obtain a state-of-the-art pool,” Mr Hudson said
“The Bracks Government’s contribution of the pool and $20,000 towards a constructability study will mean a huge cost saving for the Glen Eira Council, which is great news for rate payers.”
Mr Hudson also paid tribute to the Northern Memorial Action Group which has campaigned to see the East Bentleigh Pool redeveloped.Former Australian swimmer and local resident, Nicole Livingstone, said the World Championships pool would be a great legacy for the Glen Eira community.
“I’m thrilled at the prospect of a having a world-class pool in East Bentleigh, my local neighbourhood,” she said.
“Families and young children will be able to swim in a pool used by some of the world’s best athletes.”
This announcement follows the allocation in September of a 50-metre pool for the Frankston Regional Aquatics Centre project.
Mr Madden said up to two more pools from the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships were still to be allocated and would be announced shortly.
The pools, designed and produced by Astral are constructed from prefabricated galvanised panels with a high strength rubber liner and can be easily transported due to their modular design.
Similar materials were used in the recently completed pool at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre, which hosted the swimming events for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The 12th FINA World Swimming Championships will be held from 17 March – 1 April 2007 with an estimated 2000 athletes from 175 nations competing in five aquatic disciplines: swimming, open water swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming.
The Championships will use two modular swimming pools at Rod Laver Arena to host the competition and warm up requirements for Swimming and Synchronised Swimming, with the Diving and Water Polo programs to be conducted at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Albert Park.