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Works to begin on Tobruk Memorial Pool re-development

Works to begin on Tobruk Memorial Pool re-development
October 20, 2014

Cairns Regional Council is reported to be ready to commence the multi-million dollar redevelopment of its Tobruk Memorial Pool in the coming months.

Located within the rapidly growing North Cairns Sporting Precinct, the Tobruk Memorial Pool is the region's highest profile swimming facility.

Once complete, the Council aims for the Tobruk Memorial Pool to be a one of the preeminent aquatic sport and recreation facilities in regional Australia.

Key elements of the project include:

• New 50 metre pool to FINA specifications
• Interactive aquatic leisure including an artificial wave/surf feature
• Shade over all formal spaces
• Landscaping and seating (including grandstand seating)
• Upgraded amenities, reception, kiosk and function space
• Additional program pool for warm up/warm down (events), increased learn to swim programming
• Upgrade existing 25 metre pool for various hydrotherapy activities and learn to swim space
• Memorial walkway and entrance feature
• Toddler pool and waterplay
• Precinct upgrades including new access road (from Lily Street), new internal road and car parking
• Retention of heritage listed façade.

In July 2012, Council resolved to undertake a feasibility study to consider the options for rejuvenating the aging pool. (The 50 metre lap pool, wading pool, kiosk and amenities building were built in 1960.)

This study assessed the facility's condition, investigated industry trends and involved extensive community consultation. The resulting master plan combines aquatic sports and leisure components with business strategies to deliver a facility which will not require future operational subsidies.

In July 2013, Council endorsed the master plan and approved $1.2 million in the 2013/14 capital works budget to commence detailed design and finalise necessary approvals.

 In October 2013, Councillors voted to accelerate the project and at the completion of the design phase, commence construction of stage 1 and 2 of the project.

A key part of the project will be enhancing the already strong connection between the facility and the contribution of our soldiers and peacekeepers past and present.

Originally built as a memorial site funded with the help of the ‘Rats of Tobruk’, the redeveloped facility will reinforce the significance of the pool to the Cairns veterans of the Tobruk campaign.

In addition, the redeveloped facility aims to introduce present generations to the values of the Australian soldier such as courage, valour, resilience, teamwork, endurance, duty and sacrifice which were forged by the ANZACs and on battlefields of World War II and beyond, including Tobruk.

It is anticipated that the redevelopment will be well advanced for the Centenary of the ANZAC in 2015.

Design work has been undertaken by Cairns-based architects McElroy Morrisson Pierce Architects Pty Ltd (MMP Architects).

In designing the redevelopment, MMP Architects explain “the shape of the surrounding shoreline and of the protective helmets inspired the roof form of what will be an iconic public building.”


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