The proposal for an Aquatic and Leisure Centre to be built in Torquay by the Surf Coast Shire has ended with councilors voting unanimously to shelve the idea. The controversial and divisive proposal included a funding model that included a Special Charge Scheme that would require all residents of Surf Coast Shire to pay an amount yearly for possibly 20 years plus a one off rate increase.
Not surprisingly the majority of residents rejected the funding proposal.
MOVED Cr Brian McKiterick, Seconded Cr Eve Fisher
1. Note and acknowledge the extensive feedback provided by members of the community on Council’s proposed model for an aquatic and health facility.
2. Note that whilst the development and operation of an aquatic and health centre would offer benefits to some in the community, the majority of people’s views indicates that a facility is not desired at this time and that Council should focus on other priorities.
3. Having considered all views in the community do not undertake any further planning for an aquatic and health centre at this time.
4. Note that no allowance is made for an aquatic and health centre in Council’s long-term financial plan.
5. Mindful of the potential to consider a facility in the longer-term, retain sufficient land for an aquatic and health centre within the Community and Civic Precinct in North Torquay.
6. Remain open to proposals from private parties to develop and operate an aquatic and health centre on Council-owned land.
7. Note the feedback received through the consultation process that Council should work closely with the City of Greater Geelong in considering the development of future aquatic infrastructure that will potentially serve communities in both municipalities.
8. Allocate $5,000 from the Accumulated Unallocated Cash Reserve to participate in the City of Greater Geelong’s refresh of its Aquatic Strategy to develop a shared-view of the longer-term aquatic and health needs of communities in the growth areas of Torquay, Winchelsea and Armstrong Creek.