Western Aquatic and Leisure Centre
“The Western Aquatic Centre has the potential to grow city-wide aquatic leisure centre annual visitations from 433,799 to 810,000.”
PROJECT COST: APPROX. $55-60 MILLION
Council is proactively responding to health and wellbeing needs across Melbourne’s rapidly growing western region with the delivery of a new state of the art aquatic centre at Bruce Comben Reserve in Altona Meadows, filling the gap in service at the western end of the city.
The centre will include: an eight lane 25m pool; a learn to swim pool; an aqua play splash pad, leisure water, and toddler pool; a wellness centre with warm water pool, spa and sauna; a gymnasium; change facilities; facilities for people with disabilities and families; an early years’ service; café (indoor and outdoor seating); offices; and car parking.
In 2019, Council adopted the Hobsons Bay Aquatic Strategy 2019-30, which outlines the provision of aquatic facilities to best cater for the community. Bruce Comben Reserve was identified as the ideal location for the Western Aquatic Centre due to its potential to deliver a population catchment of 70,000 to 100,000 living within 5km of the facility.
Council then adopted the Bruce Comben Reserve Master Plan in 2020 which identifies the location onsite where the centre will be positioned, and how the remainder of the reserve will be developed.
Council invites funding partnerships with the Victorian and Australian Governments for the state-of-the-art Western Aquatic Centre to support health and wellbeing across the rapidly growing communities of Melbourne’s west.
BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES
• Meets the need of Hobsons Bay’s population growth (estimated at 112,640 by 2036)
• Accessible, affordable and inclusive facility that will inspire a healthy, active and connected community, building social inclusion and developing social capital
• Family friendly, supportive learning environment for young people with water safety education, ‘learn to swim’ pools and leisure/adventure water facilities
• Warm water pools for hydrotherapy and rehabilitation-based services for older residents
• Continuity of service provision for early years care and tenant sport clubs
Environmental and centre design:
• Set the benchmark for large-scale recreation facility Environmentally Sensitive Design (ESD)
• Designed with universal design principles and female friendly guidelines, featuring accessible facilities
• Respond to potential residential amenity impacts including local traffic concerns
• Estimated 110+ full time jobs through design and construction, plus local sourcing of material where possible
• Estimated 15+ full time jobs annually when the centre is operational
• Increased local business activity associated with the centre being a regional destination of choice, contributing to pandemic related recovery
• Indirect health benefit is estimated at $30,973,284 million over a 10-year period for facility users
Health and wellbeing:
• Improved physical and mental wellbeing outcomes with year-round access to fitness, swimming, health and wellness activities
• Increased health/fitness outcomes – 57 per cent of Hobsons Bay residents do not engage in enough physical activity, with 42 per cent of residents spent more time in sedentary activity over seven hours on a weekday as compared to the Victorian rate of 32.6 per cent (Victorian Population Health Survey 2019)
ADVOCACY ACTION PLAN
The Advocacy Action Plan for the Western Aquatic Centre includes:
• Meetings and engagement with state and federal government Ministers, MP’s and department representatives
• Publicity across traditional and digital channels
• Call to action for community i.e. ‘add your voice’ campaign
• Regional community engagement and public events presence
• Funding and grant submissions
Progression of the Western Aquatic Centre is underpinned by Council’s commitments including:
• Council Plan 2021-25 commitment
• Council Budget allocation
• Hobsons Bay Aquatic Strategy 2019-30
• Bruce Comben Reserve Master Plan 2020
• Western Aquatic Centre Feasibility Study 2021
The Western Aquatic Centre connects with the below policies and strategies:
• Victorian Government’s Infrastructure Victoria Strategy 2021-51 recommendations
• Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne 2017-50
• Victorian Government’s Sport and Recreation Victoria Better Pools Fund; Community Sports Infrastructure Loans Scheme; and Local Sports Infrastructure Fund
• North and West Melbourne City Deal proposed to federal and state governments
Progress of the centre development is based on key collaborative partnerships:
• Sport and recreation and health sectors, LeadWest
• State and federal government Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs)
To read more about the project, see the prospectus below.