Call to assist private pool as SPA languishes

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RESIDENTS on the southern peninsula have asked the shire council to “assist with improvements to the Colchester Rd pool” in Rosebud.

The request came in a 125-signature petition presented to Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors two weeks ago.

Its primary request was that the shire develop the Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre (SPA) but if it did not go ahead or was subject to lengthy delays, the shire should put money into the privately owned pool in Rosebud’s light industrial area, the town’s only pool.

The shire has done this before during the SPA saga, which has dragged on for almost 15 years.

The shire’s sport and leisure department gave the petitioners a long reply, which outlined the history of the proposed aquatic centre at Rosebud, first suggested in May 2000.

There was a feasibility study done in 2005, which was updated in 2013. Shire councillors voted to kick the pool off the foreshore last November. It was a triple backflip with pike as SPA had been stopped from being built on the foreshore until early 2012 when Coalition Environment Minister Ryan Smith gave permission for the location after the Labor government had steadfastly refused to approve the foreshore site for six years.

In July 2013 the council removed the foreshore site as the council’s preferred location but in December reversed its decision and approved the foreshore again.

“At the shire’s ordinary council meeting on 8 December 2014, the council deferred the resolutions, and requested further briefings and workshops,” the sport and leisure department told the petitioners mid-March.

The resolutions on hold included preparing a report about what to do with the shire-owned land in Wannaeue Place, Rosebud (Rosebud Central shopping centre, which the shire bought in 2012 as an alternative site to the foreshore); a report about building SPA adjacent to the shire office in Besgrove St, Rosebud; proposed refurbishment of Rosebud Memorial Hall (which was to be part of SPA on the foreshore); and implementation of the coastal management plan for Rosebud foreshore.

The bottom line? No action on the deferred resolutions and “no further decision has been made at this stage in relation to the SPA project”.

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