Horsham Aquatic Centre advisory committee members say they weren't consulted over council plans to submit a funding application for a new water park.
At its meeting on Monday night, the council endorsed an application to the state government to help fund a regional water park south of Eastgate Drive.
Neville McIntyre and David Bowe say they were not sure where this left proposed upgrades to the aquatic centre, in which plans for a splash park are included.
Mr McIntyre said Horsham wasn't big enough for two water parks.
"If they get the grant down here, what happens here?," he said. "All the lawn around the west side of the pool is set aside for that fun park. All we need now is money to build it, but if they get the grant there we've got no hope of getting any funding I would think.
"Council's now saying no, we'll put it down there. Why didn't they apply for a grant to put it in its proper place, which at the centre? They need to get their priorities right and support this existing program before they move onto something else.
"We were put on this as an advisory committe and one of the major things we suggested was a water park, and by the looks of things it won't happen here."
Lowan MP Emma Kealy promised to fund the splash park to the tune of $2 million if the coalition won the 2018 State Election, which it didn't.
Mr Bowe said the aquatic centre was the best place to put a water park.
"You've got lifeguards and guys here can keep maintenance and all of that," he said.
"What sort of infrastructure are they going to put down at the river? I need more information."
Mr McIntrye said: "The EPA would have to have a study on it be right beside the river, so the chlorine, if they are going to filtrate it which I assume they will, will go into the Wimmera River, and if it's in a flood zone it will go underwater every time it floods."
He also said funding was needed to finance extra changerooms proposed as part of the centre's upgrade plan.
"There was no public consultation whatsoever that they were going to apply for funds down there. We would hae jumped up and down and pushed for it here straight away."
The Mail-Times asked the Council's Community Wellbeing Director Kevin O'Brien:
- When will the Aquatics Centre reopen?
- Did the council consult with the Aquatics Centre advisory committee, or the community, on its plans to apply to SRV for funding for the regional water park before Monday night's meeting?
- Do you have a concept design of the Regional Water park you sent to SRV you can share with the Mail-Times?
- Will the regional water park be filtrated and employ new lifeguards? Will any water from the regional water park end up in the Wimmera River?
- Will the council still apply for funding for a splash park at Horsham Aquatics Centre, as is included in stage 2A of the masterplan? If not, why has the council chosen the regional water park over a splash park at the aquatics centre?
- If so, does council believe Horsham is a town big enough to support to water facilities?
In a written response, Mr O'Brien said a decision would need to be made by Council as to whether two facilities were justified.
He did not directly answer whether the council had consulted with the advisory committee, instead saying the water park formed part of the River Precinct of the City to River masterplan.
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"A second round of engagement & meetings with located and adjacent stakeholders, technical advisors and government agencies will be carried out over the next month, to further inform the draft Concept Plan. These consultations and discussions are underway and will assist in the development of a further refined and technically sound draft Concept Plan that can be taken out to the public for meaningful and valuable feedback," he said.
"Engagement with aquatic centre advisory committee will be available in this period."
Mr O'Brien said there would be no requirement of a lifeguard at the regional water park.
"In relation to the Horsham Aquatic Centre Master Plan and a proposed splash park in this plan, the Master Plan has a range of concepts and ideas within it, including fully accessible change rooms, a hydrotherapy pool and an aquatic play/splash area," he said.
"The outdoor pool has been recently upgraded this year, so prioritisation of additional improvements at the Aquatic Centre will be made on balance with other competing capital improvements and against future funding availability."
The centre remains closed during the pandemic. Mr O'Brien said information in regards to re-opening would be released in coming days.