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Hydrotherapy pool a lasting legacy of Commonwealth Games aquatic centre upgrade

A new hydrotherapy pool at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre is among key features of a major infrastructure upgrade being developed in the lead-up to the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Sport and Recreation, Justin Madden, today revealed details of the $51 million upgrade, which followed lengthy community and user group consultation.
“This upgrade will result in an even more impressive aquatics facility that will be a Commonwealth Games showpiece in 2006 and a lasting legacy for Victorians,” Mr Madden said.
“These finalised plans put us in a position to develop an aquatics centre with world-class appeal for users of all ages and abilities, which will be utilised for decades after the Games have finished.
“We have reached this stage thanks to valuable input from local residents, user groups and the Port Phillip Council during a comprehensive consultation process.”
Mr Madden said the project’s centrepiece, a new 50-metre outdoor event pool, would enable Victoria to host international swim meets in a fantastic open-air setting.
The outdoor pool has a permanent capacity to seat 3,000 and can easily be converted during major events to temporarily seat up to 12,000 spectators.
Event organisers predict 10,000 local, interstate and overseas fans will be poolside to cheer Australia’s swimming stars against their Commonwealth rivals during the 2006 Games.
“This upgrade not only enhances Melbourne’s sporting reputation to stage top international competitions, but also creates facilities which benefit recreational swimmers who are keen to keep fit, learn to swim, relax or just have fun,” Mr Madden said.
The new 10m x 6m hydrotherapy pool is designed to appeal to users with its proximity to change facilities and parking. It will be complemented by improved access to the existing multi-purpose pool that will also undergo a retrofit upgrade to enhance its appeal for hydrotherapy use.
Mr Madden said the multi-storey car park was planned to reduce an overflow of patrons’ cars into surrounding streets, and featured a modified design which would be less visible to nearby residents.
“The car park is lower than was shown on the original concept plan and will be almost totally concealed from the view of Canterbury Road residents with the existing growth of trees,” he said.
“There will also be further tree plantings, new landscaping and other design features to ensure the physical structures will be much less visible than previously planned,” Mr Madden said.
User groups and interested stakeholders, such as the City of Port Phillip, have been given the opportunity for final input over the past two weeks during personal briefings by the Minister.
“Now we’re in a position to firm up the project design documentation and move to the tendering stage in coming weeks,” Mr Madden said.
Construction of the new facilities is expected to start later this year and will be completed in 2005.
Updated displays of the project design can be viewed at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre or online at