Push for cash splash


Hannah Hammoud

As February heats up, frustration is boiling over in Brimbank as the local pool reaches full capacity.

Brimbank council community wellbeing director Lynley Dumble said on Sunday, February 4, Melbourne’s hottest day so far this summer, Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre (BAWC) was operating at capacity.

“This demand was especially high due to very high temperatures. This was experienced across a majority of metropolitan Melbourne aquatic facilities,” Ms Dumble said.

“Brimbank council’s other facility, Sunshine Leisure Centre which includes an outdoor 25m pool, was not at capacity and was available for community members to utilise.”

Many residents visiting the BAWC reported being unable to access much-needed relief from the heat.

Brimbank councillor Maria Kerr said an outdoor pool at BAWC was something that the community “desperately needed”.

“People were left angry and upset on the weekend as they were turned away from the pool,” she said.

With temperatures soaring and demand for swimming facilities at an all-time high, the situation has reignited calls for the state government to step in and fund the construction of an outdoor pool at the BAWC.

In 2022 Brimbank council lobbied the state government for an outdoor swimming pool at the BAWC, with council stating at the time that it was necessary to secure government funding for $10 million after it funded the majority of the construction costs for the aquatic and wellness centre.

Council contributed $60 million to the project, with the state government providing $2 million.

In that same year, the Victorian Liberal party promised to commit $10 million for an outdoor swimming pool at the BAWC if it was elected at the upcoming state election.

A state government spokesperson council and community groups are “strongly encouraged” to put together a proposal to upgrade the BAWC.

“We work closely with local councils to identify and support projects that matter to local communities through dedicated grant programs,” the spokesperson said.