The revitalisation of the Bundaberg riverside has been given certainty as Bundaberg Regional Council confirms it will move forward with the Anzac Park redevelopment.
Council has made the decision to progress the redevelopment after a project analysis revealed the significant financial impact of further delaying the project.
Current estimates show that leaving the Anzac Pool open for another season would add an additional $1.3 million to the cost of the overall project.
If the pool received the same number of visitors as it did in the last swim season, that would equate to a minimum cost of $62 per visit.
However that figure would likely be much higher, and the number of visitors significantly lower, as alternate arrangements have already been made for all school swimming groups to ensure their programs can continue uninterrupted at other facilities.
While an application had been made for an extension to the timeline of a Federal Government grant for the project, all Councillors were provided with details of this projected increase in costs and the decision was made to progress the project.
Considerations included the cost escalations of further delay, the time the new Federal Government would take to establish new departments and the fact that the project was already a number of months delayed.
Councillor Jason Bartels said the Anzac Park redevelopment was a legacy project which would have long-lasting social, economic and wellbeing benefits.
“I believe that this project will be a game-changer for the CBD and the sooner that we can deliver it, the better,” Cr Bartels said.
“The redeveloped Anzac Park precinct will protect and enhance the Anzac legacy and help to ensure that more people are utilising this beautiful and central area.
“Additional facilities will cater to a wide range of community members from adventure-style playground and zero-depth water play to an outdoor event space with a stage and improved riverside access.”
The decision means the Anzac Pool, which in its current format was officially opened in March 1956, will not reopen for another season.
Anzac Pool has been a much-loved community facility in its 66 years and you can read more about its history, including the 50th anniversary celebrations held in 2006, here.
“We’ve been given funds from the Federal Government and we need to take advantage of this before materials and interest rates rise further,” Cr Bartels said.
“The longer we wait the less likely it is that we will ever be able to complete this project.
“Council certainly hoped that the aquatic facility would be built prior to the closure of Anzac Pool but we’ve been fortunate to secure $5 million from the Federal Government towards the Anzac Park redevelopment which brought forward our timeline.
“In the long run this project is a benefit for the community.
“Council would have loved these projects to flow together but we need to be mindful of limiting costs to ratepayers and therefore we must take these opportunities when offered by other levels of government.”