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Darwin swimming pool to be resized by 50 centimetres in $9 million project

Darwin swimming pool to be resized by 50 centimetres in $9 million project
May 26, 2015

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey last week visited Darwin to announce that the Australian Government will contribute half of the $9 million cost of extensive work on the Parap Leisure and Sports Centre, encompassing changes to the existing pool, construction of a 25-metre pool, a shade structure and other services.

However, confusion followed Treasurer Hockey’s announcement when, conveying information he had been given on the day, he told reporters that the current Parap Olympic pool was 49.5 metres long and that the Federal funding would extend the pool by 50 centimetres in order for it to meet the standards set by world swimming governing body FINA.

Treasurer Hockey stated that it was "kind of extraordinary" that the pool was 49.5 metres long, adding "being a capital city you should have an Olympic approved pool.

"That means your swimmers have the chance to compete with the rest of the world and that's a good thing."

However, Darwin City Council, which is co-funding the development, later clarified that the pool currently measures 50 metres and 30 centimetres in length – the pool length being equal to 55 yards, which was the Olympic standard in the era of imperial measurements.

While, actual technical details of the redevelopment have yet to be finalised, Darwin City Councillor Jeanette Anictomatis said the project would upgrade the entire pool facility.

Councillor Anictomatis stated “it's about bringing people to the Territory – we've got the weather for swimmers from right around Australia to come here and practice, but we don't have the pool that's the right size."

Commonwealth funding is being drawn from the Coalition's $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund, which is set aside for priority infrastructure in regional communities.

The program begins in 2015/16 and will run for five years. Grants are worth $20,000 and $10 million.

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