Media response - Aldinga aquatic centre calls

Published on 01 October 2021

Response to The Wine Coast Whippet.

  • I'm writing a story about a group called Aquatic Centre Aldinga Bay (ACAB) who are petitioning for a public swimming pool in Aldinga. I was wondering if you'd heard about them and if they've approached council at all yet? If so, could I get a quote from council about ACAB please? I'd like to know council's stance about whether their demands are reasonable, if the project is likely to happen and who should fund it.

Comments attributed to Philomena Taylor, Director Community Services

We appreciate the efforts of the community in advocating for a public swimming pool in Aldinga and have had discussions with the community representative leading these efforts.

The council-owned and operated Noarlunga Aquatic Centre is a regional scale facility with a 25m lap pool, 25m program pool, leisure pools, spa and sauna.

Council is focused on improvements to this facility to continue to meet community needs and expectations, and to deliver a variety of programs to support all ages.

This includes a $300,000 upgrade to the toilets and changerooms that will be completed by the end of the year, and delivery improvements in the quality and functionality of spaces – particularly those with disabilities. This project is funded by the Australian Government through its Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

The swim school program has over 500 members from across the City of Onkaparinga and broader Fleurieu, supporting our kids to learn to swim and be safe around water.

The Noarlunga Aquatic Centre is readily accessible to the community of Aldinga. It is approximately a 15-minute drive from the centre of Aldinga and is located next to the Noarlunga Centre public transport interchange, connecting buses from further south with the centre.

Given the nature, location and scale of the Noarlunga Aquatic Centre, it is well positioned to meet the needs of the people of Aldinga.

Public pools, while providing community benefit, are extremely costly to develop and operate, with these costs needing to be balanced by competing priorities.

Council has recently made several critical financial and strategic decisions around no rate increases beyond CPI and no increase in borrowings for the next 10 years. Sporting asset capital works projects have been prioritised over a 10-year period, however, do not currently include the building of a swimming pool in Aldinga. Please note project scheduling priorities are fluid as circumstances and opportunities change.

In terms of opportunities, our region is experiencing an increase in participation across many sports and this is creating a shortage of those sports facilities. While we try to support all community members with facilities, we must balance this within our current capital works and maintenance financial constraints.

We encourage the community representatives leading this call for a public swimming pool in Aldinga to request a deputation to Council on this matter, and then we’ll be able to facilitate a response from the elected member body.