In March 2018 Council resolved to consider options for an aquatic recreation centre in the Boyne Island and Tannum Sands area.
In late 2018, community consultation was undertaken to help shape the Boyne Tannum Aquatic Centre Recreation Feasibility Study.This study was adopted by Council in January 2019. In June 2020, after further community consultation and input, Council selected Lot 900, Coronation Drive in Tannum Sands as the preferred site for the BTARC.
Concept designs are now in progress which will form part of the Preliminary Master Plan and help determine the stages in which the development is constructed.
Due to the anticipated construction costs, Council will need to secure external funding to proceed with construction of the centre.
On 3 November 2020 a commercial developer (ZenDev) presented a deputation proposing to work with Council to deliver an aquatic recreation facility on an alternative site to that adopted by Council in June. This alternate site had already been considered by Council as part of the feasibility study in 2019.
After evaluation and assessment of the proposal Council will move ahead with the BTARC facility without partnering with a commercial developer for several reasons:
- Their proposal does not allow Council to assess and progress the development based on the best interests of the Boyne Island and Tannum Sands community. Partnering with ZenDev would require the development to be independently assessed and preclude Council from input into the decision making process.
- Their proposal does not separate the aquatic centre from the rest of the proposal, and therefore any development application would infer Council was in favour of the entire project without proper assessment or input from Council.
- Their proposal does not clearly indicate that their proposed site is large enough to host the entire facility.
- Their proposal does not provide enough details to clearly indicate an actual project delivery date or project funding. This does not improve Council’s current position as Council has committed to progress with concept designs for BTARC by June 2021. Following delivery of these designs, we may choose to invite developers to express their interest in further development.
Council will remain focused on Coronation Drive for the location of the BTARC facility as community feedback identified this as the preferred site. Due to its size this site also provides the opportunity to assess constructability in entirety or via stages and keep the progress of the project on schedule.
Council is focused on the development of a shovel ready project where construction can commence upon securing funding. From here, Council will:
- Upon completion of the concept design Council will undertake community engagement to influence and prepare for the detailed design
- Upon completion of the detailed design Council will prepare a development application to gain approval for the construction of the aquatic centre
- Upon successful completion of the development approval Council will evaluate funding options to support the construction of the aquatic centre as funding permits
Council is open to doing business with developers but must always be mindful of making decisions in the best interest of the community. Council has committed to the community that we would progress with concept designs for BTARC, and we will deliver this by June 2021. Moving forward with concept designs allows Council to retain control of the project and make sure community feedback is heard. Following the delivery of these deigns, we may choose to invite developers to express their interest in further development.
This concept Master Plan, whilst exciting for the region, is at inception and will require Council to undergo the development applications process to ensure compliance with State planning guidelines.