The future of Warrnambool's ageing swimming pool facility has been thrown into the spotlight with councillor Peter Hulin calling for a major upgrade.
Cr Hulin this week questioned what the council had in mind for the long-term future of the 50-metre outdoor pool, while at the same time calling for a major investment in the whole AquaZone complex.
He told Monday's council meeting that while it was great the council was putting money into renovating and maintaining the facility, it was time to start looking at bigger plans.
"We all know it is coming to the end of its time, or past its time, for a city our size," Cr Hulin said.
"It's absolutely obsolete.
"I just wonder if we should stop spending money on it and make the hard decision to try and get a new pool for our city."
In July, AquaZone underwent a $1 million upgrade.
Cr Hulin said that for a city the size of Warrnambool, and with future growth predicted, the pool complex was "not adequate". He said Warrnambool needed a high-end facility.
Cr Hulin said pools were more than just "something to slap around in", they had huge health benefits for people of all ages and abilities.
Including waterslides in a future design was a "no brainer", and salt water pools should be considered for their health benefits for people with a disability or health ailments, he said.
"All complexes these days are not enclosed bits of water," Cr Hulin said.
He said having an outdoor pool was desirable, but the cost of heating it needed to be looked at.
"We don't even have a heating blanket to put on it at night, so the cost of gas to heat that must be astronomical," he said.
It was "just mind-numbing" that the council had never looked at investigating geothermal heating of the pool, he said, while also questioning the need to keep a gym at the centre.
Cr Hulin was on the original committee for AquaZone, but ended up resigning because he said it was "too gym-centric".
"I understand why it was done because there's money to be made in gyms which supports the pool," he said.
Cr Hulin said that for a long time the arts had done very well out of the council's budget and it was about time something was done for health.
He said the removal of Warrnambool's diving pool years ago was "scandalous".
"The kids of today are risking their health and jumping off a bridge where logs are going under all the time and it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt," he said.
"The only reason they're doing that is we haven't provided them with a safe option."
Cr Sue Cassidy raised concerns last week about young kids jumping off the red caps on Wollaston Bridge into the Merri River.
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