Ballarat could lose another of its beloved outdoor pools if a council aquatic strategy goes ahead.
The Black Hill swimming pool would be closed under Ballarat City Council’s draft aquatic strategy 2014, signalling the next pool to go after Wendouree’s pool was closed last year.
The draft strategy instead aims to improve and expand nearby Brown Hill pool. Decreasing patronage is blamed for a recommendation to close the Chisholm Street pool and redevelop it into another undisclosed sport or recreation facility.
The council will vote tomorrow night on placing the draft strategy on public exhibition, with a further report to return to the chamber following the consultation period.
The strategy recommends boosting infrastructure investment at Eureka, Brown Hill and Buninyong pools and building a “regionally significant” indoor/outdoor aquatic play space at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre.
Other priorities include developing more aquatic play spaces across the city, with one earmarked for the south ward, either as stand-alone entities or incorporated into existing pools.
Further recommendations include undertaking a landscaping program at all outdoor pools, deciding on the future of the Eureka pool waterslide and planning for future aquatic needs in Ballarat’s west and other growth areas.
In a report to the council, officers said Ballarat’s aquatic needs were constantly changing.
“Needs and expectations of families have changed, with a greater level of adventure and interaction expected at aquatic facilities,” the report reads.
“The increase of popularity of aquatic play spaces and adventure-based aquatic play is an element being observed not only in Victoria but across the entire country,” the council report said.
“Additionally, the ageing community across the state is utilising hydrotherapy pools and warm water exercise pools, something that was lower in popularity previously.
“This document provides a strategic framework and a directional ideal as to the improvement of the aquatic facilities across the city and improving the health and well-being opportunities for all of the community, regardless of ability.”