Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Northern Aquatic and Community Hub

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (18:24): My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Treasurer. It relates to the need for funding for the Northern Aquatic and Community Hub—members may remember this project as Northern ARC—which will be based in Geelong’s somewhat disadvantaged northern suburbs. It will feature a 25-metre pool, hydrotherapy and learn-to-swim pools, a water slide, a water play area, a spa, a sauna, a steam room, a cafe, a gym and group exercise area—sounds like fun—a multipurpose community hall, consulting rooms for maternal and child health, early childhood care and rehabilitation services. It is estimated that this facility will attract around 600 000 visits per year, delivering around $111 million in preventative health benefits during its first decade in operation. The City of Greater Geelong have committed a huge $20.6 million for the northern hub, one of their largest contributions to any social infrastructure project, and they are hoping that the state and federal governments will jump on board and match their contribution to ensure that the $61.6 million project is properly funded. To date the city has made $2.2 million in contributions to the project for planning and design. This includes a council resolution in September to spend $800 000 on the final detailed designs, which will make the entire project shovel ready in the hope of improving its chances of receiving state and federal contributions and getting the project off the ground. Unfortunately if the Northern Aquatic and Community Hub is not funded in this year’s state and federal budgets, the project’s future does look bleak and the millions of dollars spent on its planning will be a complete waste. As a supporter of the support for the north campaign I can confidently say that we need to make urgent investment in the health and wellbeing of those in the northern suburbs if we want to see their true potential. Therefore the action that I seek is for the Treasurer to work with the City of Greater Geelong to ensure that the state government fund their portion of the Northern Aquatic and Community Hub in this upcoming state budget.


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