Northe tables indoor pool petition

Member for Morwell Russell Northe yesterday tabled a petition in parliament calling on the State Government to help fund an indoor heated pool for Traralgon.

Attracting 3575 signatures, Mr Northe said it was the biggest petition he had ever tabled.

“There has been people from all across Gippsland who have been supportive of the petition and I thank all the community members who helped,” Mr Northe said.

“Over the years we’ve seen the town grow and expand to the point of 28,000 people and yet we don’t have a public heated indoor pool, we are the only town of such a population in Victoria that doesn’t.”

As a pre-election promise, the Coalition pledged $9 million towards the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre to be built at the current Traralgon outdoor pool site. Mr Northe has since called on Labor to match that figure now it is in government.

Latrobe City Council has committed $12 million towards the project in its 10-year plan, however the $30 million facility – which includes a 50-metre indoor pool – would need significant investment from state and federal governments and has remained in limbo since 2012 when concept designs were adopted.

“The outdoor pool is only used through a minority of time and to meet growing demand; it’s well overdue,” Mr Northe said.

“This is not just a swimming club issue, it’s for the whole of the community, people able to take their children to swimming lessons, people recovering from health impediments and recreational swimming.”

Along with the 50m indoor heated pool, the project includes, children’s play area, hydrotherapy pool and a 25m outdoor pool.

Latrobe City Council has previously stated it was open to considering potential changes to existing plans, or a staged approach, to increase the chances of attracting funding more swiftly.

Mr Northe launched the petition in April.