New Warragul outdoor pool approved
 Baw Baw News   By // 05:58, Monday 6 January 2014

baw baw warragul swimming pool william kulich warragul citizen

BAW Baw Shire councillors have approved a $13.5 million upgrade to the Warragul Leisure Centre which will see the construction of a new 51-metre eight-lane outdoor pool on the site.

In a meeting last month councillors supported a three-stage redevelopment which will also see the existing indoor pool upgraded, a new learn-to-swim pool built, the installation of new ramps, indoor spectator seating and change room upgrades, the relocation of gas pipes and landscaping works carried out.

An enclosure and 200-seat spectator stand for the outdoor pool have been proposed but are subject to future funding availability.


Proposals to build a new outdoor pool in Warragul have divided the council and community for years. In March 2012 a plan for a 10 lane pool, upped from eight lanes at the last minute while a number of councillors were not present, narrowly survived a motion to stop its constriction.

That plan was ultimately thwarted by an unexpectedly large super contribution request.

Opponents to the development argued easy access to the Drouin outdoor pool and declining demand for a new outdoor pool in Warragul meant the construction of a new pool was unnecessary.

Mayor Murray Cook said in a media release the new design will deliver a number of projects proposed previously.


“The modified project largely contributes to the original $28.25 million leisure centre masterplan. Any further works to the centre outside of this project scope would need to be considered as a separate project,” Cr Cook said.

“The masterplan has been a valuable tool in bringing this project to fruition, however the council and community cannot afford a $28 million project at this time.

“Council understands that getting the redevelopment to this stage has taken a long time. We thank the community for its patience while we worked to determine the best long-term outcome for the community now and into the future.

“We have listened to the community and will be providing new pool facilities. We think that this provides the best outcome and expect that it will meet the needs of the majority of users.”

In October 2012 then-mayor Diane Blackwood said the future of the project was in the hands of the next council, which was elected later that year.

“The next council will have to make the final decision how we progress with any capital works because it’s certainly making an impact on that,” Ms Blackwood said.

“Our infrastructure gap is growing by the day and we’re not able to put significant funds to the types of projects to make any headway… so it’s really difficult to explain that we’re dealing with something we really have no control over.”

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8 responses to “New Warragul outdoor pool approved”

  1. Wombat lyons says:

    i still think it fantastic ondoor pool getting improvement but sad to see taxes and rates spent on an outdoor pool when by train drouin and trafalgar are ten minutes away. outdoor pools also in other west gippsland towns for warragul residents to use.

  2. Don Sinclair says:

    How much are rates going to go up to pay for the pool that is not needed. How come the current council can find funds for this when our roads are a disgrace. We pay to have hard or surplus rubbish removed whereas other councils do it free. Thought this “new” council was going to do better but !!!

  3. zeebie says:

    Waste of money on something not required, Spend our tax payers money on something we all need like prompting Nbn, or repairing the roads. They are quite aweful. Hot mix patches don’t fix the issue anymore it needs a full resurface.

  4. Doh! says:

    At the last election it was clear to me that the public did not want millions spent on a new outdoor pool that was only going to be used for a few months a year. Like zeebie said it is a waste of money especially for a small shire like ours.

    I would like to know how the counsellors can justify this when other more important services like HACC which is used every day of the year is crying out for more money and with the influx of retirees we will get from over the top expansion, how are they going to fund the extra demand when one project gets $28 million and which we cannot afford.

    LiKe Don, I thought this Council was going to be an improvement on the previous one but it seems not.

  5. Don Sinclair says:

    Just another comment. I was with two councillors just after they were elected and I was sure they both assured me the pool was “off the agenda” .can’t trust their work. How much is this going to increase my rates. They really don’t care. When are the next elections. Do we need a petition to stop this foolish expenditure?

  6. Mr Jan stuut says:

    The 51 meter pool is a Fantastic addition to the pool complex. A great investment in the health of the community.I believe this to be a great step forward but only if provision is made for later upgrade.To meet community expectations in the longterm the pool must be covered and heated for round the year use and for max return on investment.

  7. Peter Hinksman says:

    Great news. This will be a wonderful asset for a growing district. It will help keep people healthy.

  8. CCM says:

    Fantastic! About time. Been too long without one, and it’s not possible for my family to travel far for swimming regularly. Absolutely can not wait – will definitely be lining up to use this when it eventually opens. YAY!!