A “robust” consultation has been promised by Tamworth Regional Council on plans for a new $30 million aquatic centre.
From late this year the public will have several months to give feedback on plans to build the centre alongside the Sports Dome and which council wants to “have shovel ready by December 2018”, two years ahead of schedule.
Designs are yet to be drawn up, but council has revealed both the Scully Park and Tamworth City Pools would need to be sold off to help pay for the new facility.
Tamworth Aquatic Group (TAG) wants the centre to have two 50m pools – one indoor and one outdoor – to host state and national level competitions, a 25m indoor pool with a ramp and an indoor recreation water park.
Aquatic groups in the area and the council agree a long, hard and robust public consultation is needed before any major decisions are made.
In a written statement TRC Director Regional Services Peter Resch said that the council will seek significant community feedback towards the end of the year.
“Tamworth Regional Council is working to deliver a robust community consultation, incorporating opportunities for all members of the community to have their say,” Mr Resch said.
“Feedback will be sought towards the end of 2017, with the consultation period stretching into early next year, allowing plenty of time for the community to provide their feedback and help develop plans for the proposed facility.
“(The proposal) will require significant input from the community, industry experts and led by a project team within council.”
The Tamworth Aquatic Group said that it hoped the council would seek a share of $100 million in funding available through the Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund announced by the State Government this week.
TAG member Michelle Bolte said that the group would like to see things moving forward.
“We need to be ready and have a vision – when things come up like these regional sporting grants it would be great to be in a position to put out hand up – it is up to council to be ready,” she said.
“We have approached them for a response – but are still waiting to see how far they have gone and what the process is. There needs to be some really good public consultation so we get this right.”