Apollo Bay calls for heated indoor pool

APOLLO Bay residents say an indoor heated pool could be the missing piece of the town’s harbour redevelopment.

Colac Otway Shire councillors have ruled out building a hotel at Apollo Bay’s harbour, despite the decision putting $160,000 of funding from Tourism Victoria at risk.

Apollo Bay Aquatic Centre secretary Jane Gross said she had proposed an indoor seawater pool at the site to the council.

Mrs Gross said a harbour-side pool would attract tourists and residents, and it might help the council secure the Tourism Victoria money.

“Currently there is only one indoor, heated and filtered seawater pool in Australia, namely the St Kilda Sea Baths and it is very popular,” she said.

“A similar concept overlooking the ocean in Apollo Bay’s harbour would provide a great tourist attraction for national and international tourists.

“At the same time, it would cater for the resident community’s needs, plus those of the non-residents.

“This is a perfect opportunity to provide an iconic facility in a stunning environment that has the potential to be unique and of world acclaim.”

Councillors will decide whether to investigate sites for a pool at today’s monthly meeting.

Council officers have recommended abandoning any further investigation “unless clear funding options are identified”.

The council report said the harbour would be the best site for a pool but more feasibility studies would be costly and environmental barriers could scuttle the development.

Mrs Gross said the recommendations had improved from a December report which said the council should abandon the plans.

“We’d be very happy if the council decided to keep it on the table and to look further into its feasibility and to work with our group,” she said.

“To have a seawater pool and wellbeing centre, that requires further investigation to make that a reality in order to suss out the funding options.”

Civic leaders will also discuss an Apollo Bay walking trails feasibility study, a Colac and Elliminyt footpath strategy, a Birregurra neighbourhood character study draft report, and the future of Colac’s marketing strategy.

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