Candidates support aquatic centre plan

CANDIDATES for the federal seat of Bendigo have thrown their support behind the proposed multi-million-dollar Kangaroo Flat Aquatic Centre.

Liberal candidate Greg Bickley and Labor candidate Lisa Chesters last night met City of Greater Bendigo representatives and members of the Community Reference Group to discuss the role they will play in the project if elected at the federal election in September.

The proposed centre will include four indoor pools, a gymnasium and wellness centre and will cost $28 million.

The facility will be built at the site of the existing Kangaroo Flat Community Centre and will also feature an adventure splash park, a creche, a cafe, wet and dry changerooms and multi-purpose flexible rooms.

Community Reference Group chairman councillor Barry Lyons said the group wanted to gain assurances from both candidates that they would support the project.

“The Kangaroo Flat Aquatic Centre is the number one priority project for Greater Bendigo and it’s important to meet with the local federal candidates to make sure they know exactly what we are proposing to build for the community and how they can help us achieve this,” Cr Lyons said.

Liberal candidate Greg Bickley said the presentation won him over.

“I think this project will set the Kangaroo Flat area up for many years,” he said.

“I will be advocating very strongly for support from the incoming Coalition government if we are successful at the next election to fund this project.

“It is a must-do project.”

Ms Chesters agreed, saying the proposed community hub would be a chance to change residents’ behaviour.

“It is a great project and it is obvious that there has been a lot of thought into the project,” she said. “The fact that it is more than just an aquatic centre and is going to be a health and wellbeing centre as well is important.”

The City of Greater Bendigo’s Stan Liacos and councillor Barry Lyons at the meeting. Picture: Jodie Donnellan

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