Pool Redevelopments Will Be Deferred

Published on 28 September 2022

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The planned redevelopment of the Sawtell and Woolgoolga Pool complexes is to be revisited in the 2023-2024 financial year as a tight grant deadline of 31 December 2023 is an unachievable timeframe for the City to deliver the projects so the funds will need to be returned.

A total of $7,784,778 had been allocated to City of Coffs Harbour through Round 5 of the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund towards the cost of building the two new complexes. Council’s budget for the works in the current plans was just over $15.5m.

“These two pool redevelopments were included in last month’s deferral of $55m of capital works projects to 2023-2024, as a result of financial and resourcing constraints,” said Natalia Cowley, City of Coffs Harbour’s General Manager.

“The reasons for the deferrals are very necessary. They will provide financial sustainability, establish a truly achievable level of deliverability and realign community and City expectations on the provision of new infrastructure.

“But sadly we’ve been informed by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources that there is no provision for any BBRF Round 5 grants to be extended beyond 31 December 2023.

“Unfortunately, as there are no resources currently allocated to progress these projects in the 2022-2023 financial year, we wouldn’t be able to begin the redevelopments until 1 July 2023. 

“As the grants have a hard closing date of 31 December 2023, this would leave us only six months in which to complete them and that’s not achievable.”

City of Coffs Harbour now plans to reopen both pools – which had been closed in advance of the planned redevelopment works - later this year following some required maintenance and staff recruitment.