A decision on the final details of a new aquatic centre at Mernda has been postponed by Whittlesea council.
The council has decided to hold off on making a decision on the Mernda Aquatic and Indoor Sports Centre until after it considers a revised master plan for the Mernda Regional Recreation Reserve. The aquatic centre will be located within the reserve.
It is not known when the master plan will be put to council, with chief executive Simon Overland telling the August 6 council meeting that the document was “some time away”.
Cr Tom Joseph said it made sense to develop the plan for the entire sports precinct before finalising plans for the aquatic centre.
“[The aquatic centre] is a huge investment that the City of Whittlesea is going to make,” he said.
“It’s very important we get this right – not just for now, but for the future generation.
“We need to have the Mernda Regional Recreation Reserve master plan done as well. I have 3000 kids who play basketball in my ward and there are no basketball facilities. We need to cater for all sporting groups.”
The council’s decision comes as council officers revealed it would cost an extra $11 million to build a 50-metre pool at the aquatic centre.
Earlier costings put to the council suggested it would cost $49 million to build an aquatic centre with a 25-metre pool.
A report to the August 6 meeting said extending the pool would increase the construction cost to $60 million and the expanded pool would cost the council an extra $150,000 a year to operate.
More than 1600 people signed a petition calling for the council to include a 50-metre pool in the centre after it resolved in February to only develop business cases for a centre with and without a 25-metre pool.