What work has been done to identify the best site for the new facility?

    Council have been working hard to find the best available site for Kingston’s new Aquatic and Leisure Centre. We started with over 180 sites across the central and southern suburbs of Kingston. The list was refined by ruling out locations that:

    • were deemed too small to host a district level facility that includes a lap pool, learn to swim pool, gym and fitness area, spa and sauna and warm water exercise facilities;
    • would result in the loss of valuable open space currently used by the community for parkland and/or existing sporting facilities;
    • were located too close to residential homes and would therefore have a significant impact on neighbours;
    • were located too far from activity centres and good transport opportunities;
    • were outside of strong population catchment areas; and
    • were subject to significant environmental constraints.

    Following this shortlisting process, we undertook detailed site assessments on the three shortlisted sites to determine the most suitable site for this development.

    How will the development integrate with the surrounding creek and reserve at Governor Rd?

    Integration with, and protection of surrounding areas will be a focus for the design team as we move into concept planning.   Council is keen for any new facility to take advantage of our natural surrounds and will be working with the relevant authorities such as Melbourne Water and Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning.

    How much will the new centre cost to build?

    We won’t know the investment required until we have plans and a confirmed location for a new centre, however a centre of this magnitude would typically cost approximately $40-50 million to construct.

    How will Council fund the new facility?

    Council is currently in a strong financial position and is expected to be debt free by the end of the 21/22 financial year.  As a result, it is proposed that the development be funded primarily from borrowings.  We are also developing an advocacy strategy, to support the identification of funding opportunities at both a state and federal government level.   

    The project is not anticipated to impact rates, with Council continuing to raise rates only in accordance with the Victorian Government’s rate cap.  

    What will happen to the existing Walter Galt site and the Don Tatnell building?

    Once the location for the new aquatic centre is resolved, consultation will commence regarding future strategic planning for the existing Don Tatnell site, and the potential demolition process for the current aquatics building.  The existing Mordialloc Community Centre (MCC) will be retained.   

    The consultation process will enable key stakeholders such as local residents, the MCC, sporting clubs and local schools the opportunity to have their say on the future of this area.  

    When will the new centre be built?

    The development of this type of facility typically takes five or more years from initial planning through to construction.  Construction of a new facility will take up to 2 years to complete once contractors commence onsite.

    What facilities will be included?

    This will form an important part of consultation, however opportunities for warm water exercise, universal access for all abilities, to all facilities, appropriate learn to swim facilities, and multiple opportunities for health and wellbeing programs will all be included.

    What sustainability initiatives are being considered for the new facility?

    In 2021 Council adopted the Climate and Ecological Emergency Response Plan, with a key goal being improving sustainable building design.  In addition, Council also has a strong Environmentally Sustainable Design Policy which will be used to guide design development for this aquatic facility. We have and will continue to work with industry leaders in sustainability to investigate and consider new technology as it becomes available, and as it is implemented by others.    

    What is the difference between a regional and district level facility?

    Waves is Kingston’s ‘Regional’ facility. It provides for the greater population needs and in addition to the learn to swim pool, lap pool, gym health area, spa and sauna also includes a leisure offering (wave pool and splash park). 

    A ‘District’ level facility extends the provision of aquatic and leisure facilities to a more localised area, without the extended leisure offering.

    The former Don Tatnell Leisure Centre would have been classified as a ‘Local’ level facility.

    Will the new centre have improved access for rehabilitation and people with a disability?

    Yes, this is a key focus for Council.  The new centre and all pools and facilities will be fully accessible. These details will be developed further during design and shared with the community for feedback.

    Will facilities be available for older adults as well as kids?

    The Centre will be developed to suit a range of users from children through to older adults, with appropriate facilities.  We have heard from the community that they enjoyed the quieter nature of the Don Tatnell Leisure Centre, and this information will be taken into account as we start to review facility design.

     

    Can I see the designs?

    We are very much looking forward to  sharing the designs with the community; however, we don’t have them yet. Council is currently finalising the appointment of specialist consultants to develop the business case and concept plans for the new development, and community consultation will form a big part of this process.