New federal funding makes a splash in the Blue Mountains

Thursday, 28 October 2021

A new accessibility ramp and shade shelters are among some of the new upgrades on the way for the Katoomba Sports & Aquatic Centre under Round Five of the Morrison Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).


Over $498,000 will be invested to revamp the Centre with a range of new features, including: 


  • an accessible ramp into the outdoor 50 metre pool 
  • upgrades to the edges and guttering (also known as a wet deck) around the main outdoor pool
  • shade shelters
  • repaired pool filtration and painting of the 50m pool.


Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the comprehensive upgrade was a welcome addition to the Blue Mountains’ infrastructure pipeline.


“This important infrastructure project, which is one of several that our government is delivering across the Mountains, bolsters our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting a variety of local jobs,” Senator Payne said. 


“Once again, collaboration between Blue Mountains City Council and our government is achieving better outcomes for residents and setting up the region for a brighter, stronger future.” 


Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said: “Pool users told us how important this space is when we undertook the community consultation in 2018.  The improvements, funded by the Building Better Regions Fund, are part of a larger upgrade currently occurring at this Leisure Centre.”


Ward 1 Liberal Councillor Kevin Schreiber said the federal funding would mean more residents could enjoy water activities. 


“Our community once feared that Katoomba pool would be closed, so this investment is very welcome news for the Upper Blue Mountains,” Cr Schreiber said.


“Breathing new life into the Centre will mean school swimming carnivals and lessons can take place in a safer and more inclusive environment. 


“In addition, I hope that a more modern swimming centre will attract further visitors to the adjoining Gully Heritage Centre which remains a very significant site for traditional owners.”


Peter Tracey, Director of the Blue Mountains-based Adam Crouch Foundation, a not-for-profit organisations that was established to raise awareness about water safety following the tragic death of three year-old Adam in a backyard pool  in 2007, welcomed the investment.


“The upgrades to the Katoomba Aquatic Centre mean that children can continue to receive swimming lessons and learn about water safety, reducing the risk of drowning and near drowning experiences within the Blue Mountains Community,” Mr Tracey said.


Upgrades funded under the BBRF are part of a larger upgrade of the precinct. Under The Western Parkland City Liveability Program, further funding is being invested in the centre’s outdoor pools for:


  • a new inclusive children’s pool with a curved beach entry and water play for families
  • an accessible pathway from the entrance of the aquatic centre to the outdoor area
  • a family friendly accessible toilet and change facilities


Under Round 5 of the BBRF, Senator Payne has also announced that the Morrison Government will fund a new three-part economic package which comprises a film industry development plan, a refreshed Blue Mountains Destination management plan and a business mentoring program.


Blue Mountains City Council is the proponent for this project.