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City of Whittlesea adopts 20 year aquatic and recreation facility strategy

City of Whittlesea adopts 20 year aquatic and recreation facility strategy
May 26, 2014

The City of Whittlesea has recently adopted a 20 year Major Leisure and Aquatic Facility Strategy.

With the municipality experiencing rapid growth and high demand for infrastructure and services, the Council engaged Jim Corbett, of Sport and Leisure Solutions, supported by Council’s Strategic Planner for leisure facilities, Patricia Hale, to develop the Strategy.

One of Melbourne’s outer northern ‘growth’ municipalities, the Council recognised that it had to take a serious look at the industry trends for bigger and better facilities and assess whether they were justified, sustainable and affordable. An industry workshop was convened to explore these issues and create core principles and direction for the development of the Strategy recommendations.

The result is a plan for two new facilities, modernisation of existing facilities and inclusion of an asset life cycle program to maintain quality of service. The driving principles for the recommendations were accessibility and equity, affordability, viability and maximising social and health benefits.

Besides the financial constraints of competing needs on a low socioeconomic rate base were the factors of geography of a north-south range of hills effectively splitting the municipality into two corridors and the resulting impact on travel time. In fact travel time, compounded by poor access and single lane roads, proved to be the single most important issue influencing user behaviour.

The trend throughout Melbourne’s many municipalities is to provide major facilities incorporating 50 metre indoor and sometimes outdoor pools, leisure water features such as waterslides and water play features, along with fitness club spaces. These facilities are costing upwards of $50 million to build.

With increasing competition in the fitness sector, the study found that the majority of fitness club members who use these facilities regularly lived within a six kilometre radius – in comparison to patrons who are willing to travel up to 50 kilometres to utilise the water slides and water play features. However, while fitness clubs visits are regular, trips to use leisure water are generally on an irregular basis as a destination trip.

With a major facility recently built in a neighbouring municipality and one under construction in another, the City of Whittlesea has determined that it will meet the needs of its future residents with a local level facility in one corridor and a district level facility in the other corridor.

Even with this modest approach to facility provision the total expenditure for capital works in delivering the Strategy over the next 20 years is estimated to be $89 million (not escalated). 

The City of Whittlesea already operates the Thomastown Recreation and Aquatic Centre (TRAC).

Click here to visit the Sport and Leisure Solutions website. 

21st September 2011 - TRAC USES SOCIAL MEDIA TO SHARE CLIENT’S SUCCESS STORY

20th July 2011 - TRAVERSE WALL CLIMBING SOLUTIONS REACH NEW HEIGHTS

2nd June 2011 - EZYPAY REVEAL SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS AT FITNESS EXPO

4th October 2010 - LATEST TECHNOLOGY FOR TRAC 

24th September 2010 - OVER BUDGET THOMASTOWN RECREATION AND AQUATIC CENTRE OPENS


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