First sod turned at new Blackwater Aquatic Centre site

Media Release

FN015/2016

11 March 2016

Joint release with:

Ken O'Dowd

Federal Member for Flynn

Peter Maguire

Mayor of Central Highlands Regional Council

Construction began on the new Blackwater Aquatic Centre in Hunter Street this afternoon with the official turning of the first sod on the project site.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the Australian Government and the Central Highlands Regional Council will each provide over $6.2 million to the $14.8 million development and fit-out of the new centre, with BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance providing $2.3 million towards the project.

"Australian Government funds for this project are being delivered through Round Two of the National Stronger Regions Fund," Senator Nash said.

"The Fund is delivering $1 billion over five years to support investment in a diverse range of infrastructure—from tourism, water and transport infrastructure to cultural, sporting and healthcare facilities—providing sustainable economic growth across the country."

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, who was onsite in Blackwater to turn the first sod on the aquatic centre project site, said the new facility would provide an inclusive and modern water space for the whole community.

"This new facility will feature three pools, including a splash pad, a covered and heated 25-metre activity pool and a partially covered 50-metre, 10-lane competition pool," Mr O'Dowd said.

"The competition pool will meet Swimming Australia guidelines, allowing Blackwater to host regional athletic meets.

"Importantly, the facility will also have areas suitable for children and families and will complement the existing rugby, touch and netball facilities in town."

Mayor of Central Highlands Regional Council Peter Maguire said visitors to the pool would also enjoy access to a multi-purpose meeting room, a kiosk, bike racks for at least 20 bicycles and car-parking to accommodate more than 50 cars.

"During the construction phase of this project, we expect 50 jobs to be created, with another five ongoing jobs expected to be created once construction is complete," Cr Maguire said.

The Blackwater Aquatic Centre is expected to be completed in early 2017.