Western Aquatic and Early Years Centre

Western Aquatic Centre tile.JPG

The Western Aquatic and Early Years Centre has the potential to grow city-wide aquatic leisure centre annual visitations from 433,799 to 810,000.

What we need

A new state-of-the-art aquatic and early years centre at Bruce Comben Reserve in Altona Meadows, filling the gap in service at the western end of the city.

Features of the Centre

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 and facilities for people with disabilities and families
  • a new Early Years Centre with kindergarten, occasional care and Maternal & Child Heath Service
  • café with indoor and outdoor seating
  • offices and
  • car parking

Why we need it

By 2036 the population of Hobsons Bay is projected to grow by 18% reaching 112,642 people which will create ongoing demand for aquatic services as well as expanded and new facilities to meet this increased number of users. Furthermore, our community has told us that is it seeking integrated aquatic facilities. 98% of 233 respondents to a resident survey completed as part of the Aquatic Strategy indicated that they would make greater use of aquatic and leisure centres in the future, if a full-service model was available closer to where they lived. Click below for a full list of benefits and opportunities.


  • Is meeting the need of Hobsons Bay’s population growth, estimated to be 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

Health & Wellbeing

  • Improved physical and mental wellbeing outcomes with year-round access to fitness, swimming, health and wellness activities
  • Increased health/fitness outcomes. 57 percent of Hobsons Bay residents do not engage in enough physical activity, with 42 percent of residents spent more time in sedentary activity over seven hours on a weekday as compared to the Victorian rate of 32.6 percent (Victorian Population Health Survey 2019).

Environmental & 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 over a 10-year period for facility users

Funding Commitment Request

Hobsons Bay Contribution

$20 million.

State & Federal Gov. Contribution

$10 million - Victorian Labour Government.

Total Project Cost

Approximately $55-60 million.

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.

How you can support this project

Council is actively advocating for the Wetlands Centre by engaging state and federal government Ministers and MPs and applying for funding with grant submissions but we need your help. 

We’re calling on you to show your support for this new facility. By spreading the word to your family and friends, your support can help us demonstrate how much the community wants this new facility. #Helpfloatourpool

Project Updates


Council adopted the Annual Budget 2024-25, allocating $920,000 for the Western Aquatic and Early Years Centre and Bruce Comben Reserve design. 


Council adopted the Bruce Comben Reserve Master Plan which identifies the site location where the centre will be positioned, and how the remainder of the reserve will be developed.


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 in Altona Meadows was identified as the ideal location for the Western Aquatic and Early Years Centre due to its potential to deliver a population catchment of 70,000 to 100,000 living within 5km of the facility.






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)

Government Policy Connections

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

Council Policy Connections

Progression of the Western Aquatic Centre is underpinned by Council’s commitments including:

 Find out more about the project below