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Plan for Giant Pool on the Yarra

February 5, 2010
A giant outdoor swimming pool could soon be built on the banks of the Yarra near the Melbourne Aquarium in Batman Park.
Melbourne's The Age newspaper has reported that a consortium, Birrarung Pools and Melbourne Lifeform Development (BPMLD), has revealed it is "exploring the feasibility of establishing a special-purpose community pool and aquatic and fitness centre adjacent to the Yarra River."
It is believed the design includes a section for an outdoor pool above the Yarra River.
In a statement, BPMLD has announced "the multi-use facility comprising swim, gym and bike pursuits would occupy a site on the banks of the Yarra River near to and west of the popular Melbourne Aquarium and [would] incorporate world-leading environmental designs."
The consortium, which includes architects, engineers, environmental consultants and sports administrators, said it was consulting "with a range of interested parties including community groups, the state government and the City of Melbourne."
Consortium spokesman Michael Potter explained " it is very early days and while we cannot speak for the city or state government, we can say the response from a number of major enterprises in the city has been overwhelmingly positive."
Potter said a copy of the proposed scheme was with the Victorian government and Melbourne City Council.
Lab Architecture - which designed Federation Square - is believed to be involved and to have produced detailed concept designs that will be discussed informally by Melbourne City councillors next week.
One council source said the council was lukewarm about the pool idea while Ian Penrose of the Yarra Riverkeeper Association said "proposals to cover any part of the river and its grassed banks should be refused."
By contrast, Victoria Tourism Industry Council Chairman Jeremy Johnson said water-based features were good at attracting tourists.
A Victorian Government spokesman said ''the government has not had any formal discussions but we are always open to new ideas ⦠which make Melbourne a better place to live."

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