Construction of the state-of-the-art Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre, capable of hosting international standard events, will start next year after funding was announced today.
The FINA-standard complex will feature a 50-metre, heated, undercover competition pool, cafe and grassed spectator area.
Assistant Minister for Local Government Nikki Boyd and Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith joined Mayor Jack Dempsey to confirm the State Government had approved Bundaberg Regional Council’s request to allocate the latest round of Works for Queensland funding to the project.
The announcement will see the State Government contribute over $13 million towards the more than $45 million project.
Mayor Dempsey said it was an important day for the region’s future, with the state’s funding commitment coming just weeks away from the Council’s budget.
“The Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre is a once-in-a-generation project and will be a gamechanger for our region,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“It will be a training ground for world-class local athletes, it will attract a high level of competition with all of the media coverage and visitors that come along with that.
“The economic, social and health benefits of this facility will be felt for many, many years to come.
“I’ve been advocating for the Bundaberg Region to host training and competition for the 2032 Olympics if Queensland’s bid is successful – this new aquatic centre would be suitable as an Olympics training base.”
Mayor Dempsey thanked the State Government for its support and said he hoped the Federal Government will also provide assistance.
“Council made an application to the Federal Government under its Building Better Regions Fund,” he said.
“We’ve missed out on grants through this program over recent years and hope for a successful outcome this time.
“Our intention is to deliver all stages of this project in the next three years.”
Assistant Minister for Local Government Nikki Boyd said the centre was a “jobs generator”, supporting local work throughout every aspect of the build and into the future.
“This facility will support over 126 jobs throughout construction and 40 ongoing jobs,” she said.
“It's absolutely a job creating project but also invests in the liveability of the city as well.
“This project is about attracting people to come and work in regional areas like Bundaberg and to stay in regional areas.”
Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the funding was going towards “building something big” for the region.
“When you build the best facilities you give young athletes the best opportunity to go and achieve their dreams,” he said.
“This Olympic-sized swimming pool is really going to kickstart something for our young swimmers.”
Mayor Dempsey said the commitment to the Bundaberg Regional Aquatic Centre was also a catalyst for the redevelopment of Anzac Park.
“The Anzac Park redevelopment will activate the riverfront and make it a vibrant and sought-after community space.”
He reiterated that Anzac Pool would remain operational during construction until a transition timeline to the new aquatic facility could be finalised.
Anyone who wants to share their memories of Anzac Pool can participate in a Council project to share their stories of the facility.