SUPPORT THE NEW ‘SOUTHERN PENINSULA AQUATIC’ CENTRE (SPA) NEXT TO THE ROSEBUD FORESHORE
To: Mathew Guy MP, Minister for Planning, Mayor and Councillors of Mornington Peninsula Shire
To proceed as soon as possible to construction of the new Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre (SPA) on the Rosebud site voted by councillors in March 2012. On Point Nepean Rd site adjacent to Memorial Hall.
Why is this important?
The new Southern Peninsula Aquatic centre ‘SPA’ is important as it will provide a safe swimming facility for our children; and with the inclusion of a Gym and Hydrotherapy pool this will create a Health and Wellbeing Centre that is accessible to the entire community. In 1999 it was decided that Rosebud was one of three main townships on the Mornington Peninsula that required a new aquatic centre. In March this year an open council meeting approved the position for ‘SPA’ by a majority vote by local councilors. The proposed site is the area around the Memorial Hall, taking in the ‘man made’ grassed area to the left hand side, the old derelict Kindergarten, the play ground behind the Memorial Hall and the bitumen carpark. As part of the new development, the Memorial Hall will be retained and enhanced. This location offers the most suitable position for ‘SPA’ for the following main reasons: ACCESS: Rosebud foreshore is served by the only seven day per-week bus service in the area. This is extremely important for the community members that do not drive, especially our youth. CENTRAL LOCATION: Rosebud Foreshore is part of the retail and commercial heart of the area, the new centre will be an attractive building which will help revitalise the town and encourage civic pride. HIGH USAGE: Residents and tourists will be more likely to use the facilities of the centre if it is located near shops, on a main road and near other services such as banks, medical centers etc. Higher usage means a reduced cost to council and therefore ratepayers. ECONOMIC BENEFITS: ‘SPA’ will be a great asset to the Rosebud community as it will provide entertainment, encourage visitors to enjoy the facilities, encourage greater retail activity in the town and will provide new ongoing jobs at the centre thus stimulating the local economy. OPPOSING ARGUMENTS DISPELLED: ARGUMENT: The site for ‘SPA’ is in violation of the Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008 as development on these foreshores and reserves must be coastal dependent. RESPONSE: The approved location is actually within an activity node in the coastal action plan, endorsed by Government. A key decision-making issue identified for activity nodes is the provision of facilities that meet the social, economic and environmental needs of the community including development and uses that provide a net community benefit. It also meets the criteria as outlined in the Coastal Strategy. It doesn’t have to be solely Coastal Dependant as evidenced by the shops and offices on the Queenscliff foreshore, the Geelong foreshore and the Aquatic Centre on the Hastings foreshore which all have coastal consent. It satisfies the “Net Community Benefit" test. The Shire has commissioned studies, created a Shire Planning Team, conducted extensive community consultation from 2005 to 2008, including numerous meetings, to determine that the foreshore is the best possible site for ‘SPA’ using known industry success criteria. Analyses of the unsuitable sites along with all other documents are available on the shire website. ARGUMENT: Why build ‘SPA’ when we already have a swimming pool in Rosebud and we also have the bay? RESPONSE: The fact is that the Colchester Road Swim Centre is in desperate need of refurbishment and the council is providing a subsidy to the Colchester Road private pool operator to keep it open as a service to the community until ‘SPA’ opens. With regards to the bay it is really only an option for swimmers around 4 out of 12 months a year. We need an aquatic centre that can provide year round services to the community including swim lessons in a controlled and safe environment for our children. ARGUMENT: What about climate change and the possibility of rising sea levels? RESPONSE: In fact the Government has said to plan for a possibility of a 0.8 metre rise by 2100 (in 90 years time). In any case, like Pelican Aquatic Centre on the Hastings foreshore, ‘SPA’ will be built 1.2 metres above existing ground level so it won’t be affected. Sand is building up (accreting) at Rosebud both in the water and on the foreshore. Boatsheds that once were near the water are now 50 to 100 metres inland – and the boatsheds haven’t moved! The commercial assets of the townships from Blairgowrie/Rye through Rosebud to Safety Beach are far more valuable, and will be protected by mitigation works like sea walls and the like. ‘SPA’ will be a beneficiary of those works IF they are required to protect the townships. ARGUMENT: What about the debt that we’ll incur building ‘SPA’? RESPONSE: The Shire has very low debt relative to its assets, cash flow and income. The Victorian Auditor General has given the Shire the best rating. ‘SPA’ will be funded from State and Commonwealth grants, donations in cash and kind from companies and individuals (like Pelican Aquatic centre in Hastings) recurrent funds and modest loans. PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT & SIGN THIS PETITION