Summer might be officially over but plans are heating up for next summer at the Emerald Aquatic Centre and Central Highland’s families are counting down the days until they can have a local wet and wild experience without a trip to the Gold Coast—well almost.
Dave Greaves of Bobtrac Swim School, says there’s no doubt the water slides council have approved will be a popular attraction judging from the ones he’s seen around the state.
‘We’ve been working on this project with council for some time now and we’re pretty happy that it’s got the go ahead and we can start to plan for the construction.
‘We did have a large inflatable slide at one stage, but they are just too dangerous, so we figured the investment in something more permanent and safe will be worth it.’
According to Central Highlands’ CEO Scott Mason, the total project cost will be $752,000, which will be fully funded by the lessee through upfront and annual payments.
‘I understand that a figure of $2.8 million is being talked about, but that’s based on a whole-of-life cost—basically the cost of having that piece of equipment for 25 years.
‘Council considered the business case put up by Bobtrac Swim School at length and were satisfied that it was a sound idea, good for the community and worthwhile supporting with a loan that will be paid by the lessees over a 20-year term.
‘We actually applaud this entrepreneurial approach for the aquatic centre; it shows some forward thinking and consideration to make the best out of the space available,’ he added.
Dave Greaves believes the slides will attract a lot of out of town interest.
‘I’m sure that people will come to Emerald and make a weekend of it, therefore it’ll be good for local business.
‘We’ve already invested $75,000 in a jumping pillow, shade structure and the Bali hut picnic area, which will all be open when the slides are in place.
‘Some people are worried that the entry fee to the pool will go up, but that’s not the case at all. The entry fee is a council-set cost, if people come and want to use the slides there will be an extra cost, which we haven’t settled on yet.’