Plans revealed for $56m Toowoomba water park

A MAJOR, new, $56 million aquatic centre complete with water slides and state-of-the-art facilities is on the cards for the Garden City.

The plan was revealed in a council report that proposes a major overhaul of the region's nine pools.

Toowoomba Regional Council's Aquatics Master Plan and Strategy report indicates that a Water St site, next to the PCYC, is the preferred location for the new aquatic centre in Toowoomba.


The report recommends the inclusion of a 51.5m by 25m competition pool with a moveable boom and floors and a large spectator area, a 10m by 15m learn-to-swim pool and a 20m by 12m warm water program pool.

It will also house a large leisure toddler's play and/or multi-purpose pool, water slides and towers, a large gymnasium area and dry program rooms and a crèche.

Community Development and Facilities portfolio leader Cr Ros Scotney said council was investigating constructing a new centre in Toowoomba because of the age of the Milne Bay Aquatic Centre.

Slip, sliding away - Ben Dunn,11, at Golf'n'Games Waterslide in Torquay. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
The new aquatic centre could house a multi-purpose pool, water slides and towers. Alistair Brightman
>> POLL: Water park push makes splash

She said the way people used aquatic centres had changed.

"When our pools were built, people just went for a swim.

"Now it's become a real social thing. You have gymnasiums, therapeutic pools and coffee shops."

She said council was also looking at building the new centre because major developments around the Victoria St centre meant parking would become problematic in that area.

Does Toowoomba need a new aquatic centre?

This poll ended on 11 July 2015.

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This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The report advocates the construction of a facility that will operate all year round.

Council will examine both redeveloping the existing centre in Victoria St and building a new aquatic centre.

There has long been a push for new water-based entertainment facilities in Toowoomba with thousands of residents signing petitions.

 $56m pool plan for city
The plans were revealed in Toowoomba Regional Council's Aquatics Master Plan and Strategy report
Nearly 90% of residents voted "yes" in an online poll with the question, "Does Toowoomba need a water park?"

Council is also exploring relinquishing management of pools in regional towns.

The report recommends that council retain the management of the Highfields Fitness and Recreation Centre and Milne Bay Aquatic Centre but that it outsource management to its other seven aquatic facilities.

Council is also looking at redeveloping the Highfields pool which will include the construction of a 25m pool, new learn-to-swim pool, water features and additional change rooms.

The report predicts a total of $74,420,000 will be spent on council's nine pools in the next 10 years.

Residents in the region have regularly patronised the pools with attendance at the Crows Nest facility tripling in the last year

Cr Scotney said council would prioritise the construction of ramps in aquatic centres across the region.

Council will upgrade its nine pools and is investigating changing the 50m Oakey pool to an enclosed 25m pool that will operate all year round.

It will undertake a feasibility study into the Toowoomba and Highfields projects in coming weeks.