Council to determine swimming pool purchase



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The privately owned swimming pool next to Oaks Resort in Port Douglas was formally open for public use but now sits empty. Image: Newsport.

Douglas Shire Council staff will inspect a privately owned swimming pool next to Oaks Resort in Port Douglas to determine the feasibility of buying the site.

Douglas Shire Council resolved to allocate $5,000 towards assessing the state of the 25-metre, seven lane lap pool that was built in the 1980s. The 3-2 decision in favour of the motion was taken at today’s Council meeting with Councillors Abigail Noli and Roy Zammataro voting against it.

The site, located next to the former QT Resort on Port Douglas Rd, also contains about 1.7 hectares and a gymnasium. Although only a portion of the land is available to buy, that could be subdivided for Council and other future use.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said Council considered the site as a potential short term option to bring a public swimming area and splash park to Port Douglas.

“Young parents who I speak to want somewhere comfortable and exciting to go to all-year round and catch up with other families,” he said. 

“We believe this site has enormous potential to become a popular ‘family day out in Port Douglas’, with the Bally Hooley steam train stopping outside, beautiful surrounding green space and enough land to look at building a splash park.

“If the numbers stack up, buying this pool would complement the Mossman Pool which has seen more than 8,000 people pass through its gates since Council took on running it in October last year.”

Council was previously approached to consider purchasing the pool after the owners decided to close the pool for public and commercial use. Council is aware of other potential options for the site.

The pool, which currently not in use, is preferred by commercial operators due to its location in Port Douglas and lane hire options. 

Earlier last year, more than 100 community members signed a petition to advocate Council to purchase the pool. Mayor Kerr said the idea of a safe swimming option in Port Douglas is popular among locals and visitors, which Council is keen to explore and get progress on.

Manager of People and Community Services, Terry Farrelly, said that Council staff would undertake a thorough inspection and engineering report to see if any repairs are required to bring it up to standard.

“We will also investigate whether the pool and gymnasium could be subdivided to present different options for Council to consider,” he said.

“There is certainly potential for the pool and the adjacent land to consider a variety of options that would activate this part of Port Douglas.”

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