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Upgrades at Port Hedland’s Gratwick Aquatic Centre extend facility’s lifespan

Upgrades at Port Hedland’s Gratwick Aquatic Centre extend facility’s lifespan
January 21, 2020

The Town of Port Hedland has advised that significant upgrades to the Gratwick Aquatic Centre (GAC) have extended the facility’s useful lifespan by 10 years, delivering on the community’s desire to keep the facility.

Designed and constructed in the late 1960s, with recognised local government asset management principles determining it to be at the end of its useful life, significant upgrades in recent years and executive leadership’s commitment to modernise the facility have secured the pool’s future.

Explaining that critical underinvestment in previous years had led to the recent filtration and infrastructural issues, Town of Port Hedland Chief Executive, David Pentz advised “decades of chronic underinvestment and a lack of budgetary allocation to maintain the Gratwick Aquatic Centre led to catastrophic filtration system failure in 2018.

“Previous decision makers did not prioritise infrastructure investment, which increased the likelihood of problems arising later down the track.

“Despite recent media reports, there was no delay in advising Council of filter availability in September 2018. An absolute majority of Elected Members agreed to the cost of replacing the filters in October 2018, which required them to be made to order specifically for the Gratwick Aquatic Centre.

“I acknowledge the cost of the works were revised up in October 2018, however unexpected costs may arise when upgrading a 60 year old facility at the end of its useable lifespan.

“The installation process was further delayed due to Cyclone Veronica, as well as the decision to include additional works to improve the facility’s quality.

“Additional upgrade works approved in August 2019 include upgrading on-site structures, installing more pavement, installing more turf, replacing the toddler pool tiles and more: all measures which improve the community’s experience at the facility.

“Safety has always been the Town’s first priority, which is why we closed the facility in November when we were provided with a false positive reading for Naegleria fowleri. Despite no risk to public health and safety, I stand by the decision to close the facility as a precautionary measure in line with (Western Australian) Department of Health guidelines.

“It’s been a long road for the facility, however the hard work of contractors and Town staff mean the pool is now open to the public to enjoy.”

Image courtesy of the Town of Port Hedland.

Related Articles

1st September 2019 - Council masterplan aims to reshape Port Hedland’s Sporting Future

15th August 2019 - South Hedland primary school children learn to Swim My Way

9th August 2019 - Western Australian aquatic centres report identifies industry labour shortages

5th August 2019 - Attendances rise and water consumption falls at Western Australian aquatic centres

4th July 2019 - PLA offers five-day facility managers education program in Perth

26th April 2019 - Town of Port Hedland to take back management of key aquatic, recreation and sport facilities

14th February 2019 - Town of Port Hedland invites residents to shape community’s leisure future

10th December 2018 - Port Hedland council to take back management of aquatic, recreation and fitness facilities

25th October 2018 - Filtration system failure set to result in 12 month closure of Port Hedland’s Gratwick Aquatic Centre

21st September 2018 - Gratwick Aquatic Centre to stay closed for further works

13th August 2018 - Pilbara’s first Changing Places Facility opens at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre

18th January 2018 - South Hedland Aquatic Centre reopening not impacted by vandalism

13th June 2017 - Port Hedland Council votes to reduce pool operations to fund new aquatic centre

17th September 2016 - South Hedland Aquatic Centre closes for filtration and other upgrades

1st May 2015 - Port Hedland’s Gratwick gym moves towards 24/7 operations

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