Construction has begun on the Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre (ARC) – an A$22.25m project to meet community demand for a local recreation facility that can host regional competitions, training and lap swimming, indoor community programmes and leisure activities.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development and Federal Member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss, who was on-site to turn the first sod, said the Australian Government had committed A$5m to the project through the National Stronger Regions Fund. He continued:
The Fund will provide A$1bn nationally over five years and is targeted to support projects like this one that deliver strong economic outcomes and boost liveability.
The ARC will provide an employment boost to the region. It is expected to create around 270 jobs during the construction phase and 12 ongoing jobs once construction is complete.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Jackie Trad, said the ARC will feature a 50-metre outdoor pool, a 25-metre indoor heated pool and a water play area. She added:
Related works, including landscaping, car parks and road works, are already well advanced. The construction of an overflow carpark is already complete, capable of providing up to 50 additional cars during events.
Mayor of Gympie Regional Council Mick Curran said demand for an aquatic centre had increased significantly over the years, as the population in the Gympie region continues to grow. He said:
The sod turn today brings us another step closer to delivering this vital piece of community infrastructure.
ARC will be a real community asset with benefits for the community’s social and physical wellbeing and for the liveability of the whole Gympie region.
The A$22.25m Aquatic Regional Centre is being funded with A$5 million from the Australian Government, A$100,000 from the Queensland Government and A$17.15m from Gympie Regional Council.
Gympie Aquatic Centre gets a name – ARC
Following a naming competition, the new venue will be named Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre or ARC for short.
The former mayor, the late Ron Dyne, will have his name incorporated too, in an important component of the facility to acknowledge his driving force in pursuing a high quality aquatic centre for the region.
In a nod to the current Gympie Memorial Pool, a war memorial will feature in a prominent place within ARC’s site. The Council has also approved the leasing of a suitable site within ARC’s siteplan to the Gympie Hydrotherapy Group.
The new Gympie Aquatic Centre is at the forefront of all Councillors’ aspirations for the Gympie region, and was strongly supported by past mayor, the late Ron Dyne.
The site on Tozer Park Road has been set aside for many years for an aquatic centre. The Council owns the land, it is vacant, easily accessible and importantly is out of flood level.
The aquatic centre will have as its core features a 50m outdoor pool, a 25m heated indoor pool and a water play area for children. The final extent of the centre facilities has not been determined at this point in time due to budget considerations and at this stage the final funding scenario is still being finalised.
The indoor pool will be heated to 29 degrees. This will enable it to be open all year round and will cater for a wide range of activities for people of all ages.
There is provision for a future hydrotherapy pool to be located adjacent the centre.