Third aquatic facility on the cards for council sports strategy

(L-R) Wyndham council recreational strategy team leader Sarah Sytema, council sport and recreation manager David Semmens, VicSport chief executive Steven Potts, councillor Peter Maynard, mayor Henry Barlow and sports development co-ordinator Cam Atkins. Picture: Charlene Macaulay


Preliminary planning will soon begin on Wyndham’s third leisure facility, which is expected to be a hybrid of the new AquaPulse and Eagle Stadiums.

Wyndham council sports development portfolio holder Peter Maynard said a 113-hectare site along Sayers Road in Tarneit had been earmarked for a third council-owned aquatic facility.

It is part of a new council strategy being developed to help plan for the sporting infrastructure needed between now and 2045.

Under the strategy, the council plans to develop 34 new sporting reserves in that time – more than double the current number.

Mayor Henry Barlow said some families were travelling to other municipalities to play sport because teams are at capacity.

Cr Maynard said there were currently 3700 children in Learn to Swim classes at AquaPulse.

“We had to turn away between 700 and 800 children because we have no more room.”

Wyndham council sport and recreation manager David Semmens said the council would do some preliminary work over the next financial year.

“To understand … what the facility might contain. That’s subject to council’s budget,” he said.

There are no set plans about when the facility will be built.

Wyndham residents have taken to their newest leisure facilities like a duck to water, with more than 970,000 people visiting AquaPulse, Eagle Stadium and the Werribee Outdoor Pool between July 1, 2016, and mid-February this year.

Cr Maynard, Cr Barlow and several council officers met with VicSport chief executive Steven Potts last week to outline the council’s plans and the need for more sports funding.

“We also need the support of other tiers of government and sporting bodies,” Cr Maynard said.

“The redevelopment of the Chirnside Park precinct is a great example of this working – with council, state and federal governments co-funding the project, along with the Werribee Football Club, AFL and AFL Victoria.”

Mr Potts said VicSport was meeting with a number of Victorian councils to develop a snapshot of sport across the state.

He said every dollar invested in sport saved up to four dollars in the state health budget.

The final sports infrastructure strategy is expected to go before a Wyndham council meeting in coming months.