Here is your chance to make your thoughts known on your preferred site for a new aquatic centre in Port Macquarie.
The next stage of community engagement is underway as planning continues for an aquatic facility to meet the region's future needs.
Six potential sites, which could accommodate a new aquatic facility, have been identified.
They are Macquarie Park (Gordon Street), Dixie Park (Aston Street), Findlay Park (Findlay Avenue), Upper Oxley Oval (Pacific Drive), Thrumster Sporting Complex (College Drive) and Wayne Richards Park (Koala Street).
The other option is to upgrade the Port Macquarie Olympic Pool site.
It is estimated a new pool project would cost about $40 million to $50 million.
Refurbishment of the existing pool would have an estimated $8 million to $10 million price tag.
The Port Macquarie pool, built in 1966, is approaching its use-by date with structural, accessibility, programming and maintenance issues identified as barriers in providing quality swimming facilities into the future.
Community engagement will run from Monday, July 22 until Sunday, August 18.
Port Macquarie Aquatic Centre Committee spokesperson Greg Freeman said it was great to see the council on the front foot.
"We all understand this is a long-term project but it needed some serious momentum and the site selection was always the first big step," Mr Freeman said.
We all understand this is a long-term project but it needed some serious momentum and the site selection was always the first big step.Greg Freeman
"I do think people will have points of view on all the sites."
Port Macquarie Swimming Club president Warren Phillips said the club was happy to see the matter progressing.
"It's been a long time coming and hopefully things will continue on at a bit faster pace," he said.
Mr Phillips said the pool needed to be built to FINA specifications, while an indoor 25-metre pool for training would make a huge difference, not just for the swimming club members but for all pool users.
The council engaged specialist consultancy service Otium Planning Group in mid-2018.
Otium, in developing the Port Macquarie-Hastings Aquatics Strategy, identified and recommended the key components needed to meet the aquatic needs of the community for the next 50 years.
Those elements include a 50 metre and 25 metre pool, children's water play, program pools, and fitness and wellness elements.
Six council-owned or managed sites in Port Macquarie have been identified which could accommodate a new aquatic facility.
The site identification was based on the past community engagement and the Otium report findings.
In addition, there is the alternate option to upgrade the existing pool site in Gordon Street.
Council director Melissa Watkins said this further community and stakeholder engagement was essential in identifying the preferred option for the Port Macquarie aquatic facility and the council encouraged the community to get involved.
Cr Mike Cusato said it has been a lengthy process to get to this point.
"This [consultation] process gives us the opportunity to talk to the community and talk to stakeholders as to what we need and what it's going to be," he said.
To have your say and for further information visit the council's website or call the council on 6581 8111.
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