Following the adoption of the Aquatic Facilities Strategy 2023-2038 to guide future direction for inclusive and enjoyable facilities for the region, Council has commenced the exploration of replacement options for the Chinchilla Aquatic and Fitness Precinct.

As identified though the Aquatic Facilities Strategy, the Chinchilla Pool is reaching end of life and needs to be replaced to ensure it can continue to meet the community's needs for years to come.

As part of the early planning process, Council heard from pool users and the broader Chinchilla community about how they use the facility and what features are most important to them for the future of this popular community facility.

Council engaged experienced aquatic centre consultants to undertake community engagement and propose a potential site and facility inclusions for future project planning. Community input is an integral part of planning for this project, and we were proud to see such great uptake from the Chinchilla community who were keen to be a part of the conversation.

Site Selection

The consultants examined five different possible site locations for the Aquatic Facility and assessed their suitability based on 21 different criteria. The resulting preferred site was recommended as 35-41 Villiers Street, which is the site of the former Cypress Pines Caravan Park.

At the January 2024 Council meeting, Council endorsed that the new Chinchilla Aquatic Precinct be developed at this site which is directly across the road from the current facility. Read the full story here...

Aquatic Precinct Inclusions

The planned inclusions for the Chinchilla Aquatic Precinct Replacement Project were investigated by the consultants who:

  • examined past stakeholder engagement meetings and surveys conducted as part of the Aquatic Facilities Strategy 2023-2038;
  • researched future community, stakeholder and industry demographic forecasts, trends and preferences;
  • conducted stakeholder and broader community engagement (surveys, drop-in sessions at the pool and interviews);
  • conducted geotechnical testing at the preferred location;
  • developed a financial operating model; and
  • developed a component schedule and cost estimate.

This investigation resulted in the resolution of Council to proceed with concept planning for a precinct to include :

  • An indoor aquatic hall with learn-to-swim and separate toddler's pool
  • An outdoor/indoor fifty (50) metre eight (8) lane pool and aquatic support areas
  • Health and fitness areas
  • Front of house areas including café
  • Amenities and change areas
  • Multi-purpose areas
  • Outdoor precinct areas
  • Multi-purpose centre

Stakeholder Reference Group

Council has established a stakeholder reference group to provide advice to guide and support the project development process for the Chinchilla Aquatic Precinct replacement project. The Terms of Reference of the group are available here.

Chaired by Cr Sophie Bougoure with Cr Peter Saxelby and Council staff in attendance, the Reference Group met on 13 and 27 May 2024 in Chinchilla. Chinchilla community invitees included:

  • Julieanne Bannister, Chinchilla Sharks Swimming Club Inc
  • Kim Priem, Chinchilla & District Sport Committee
  • Cath Brandon, President Chinchilla Historical Society Inc
  • Colleen Forde, Southern Queensland Rural Health
  • Robyn Haig, Chinchilla Community Commerce and Industry
  • Richard Turnbull, Goondir Health Services
  • Warren Barker, Chinchilla Lions Club
  • Jo Rayner, Goondir Health Services
  • Louise Judge, Chinchilla Community Centre
  • Ray Hicks, Rotary Club

The group workshopped, discussed and provided input to Council on their preferences for considerations to be included in the design brief to be given to two architects who will develop concept options for the Aquatic Precinct.

Read the Chinchilla Aquatic Precinct Reference Group - Terms of Reference here.

​Chinchilla Aquatic Precinct Stakeholder Reference Group

Chinchilla Aquatic Precinct Stakeholder Reference Group

Next Steps

The procurement process for contracting two architects to complete concept design options is currently underway, with awarding of the contracts expected in June.

In September/October 2024, the Stakeholder Reference Group will reconvene to consider the two architect's concept designs and provide further advice and recommendations to Council.

Broader community consultation on the concept design is currently scheduled for October - November 2024.

Some minor remediation works will be completed over the next two years to ensure the current pool can remain operational while more detailed planning around the replacement of the facility is completed.

Council will commence grant seeking for the new Aquatic Precinct when possible, as concept designs are progressed and partners identified.

Once the concept design preference has been endorsed by council, the project will proceed to the detailed design stage which is forecast to take approximately 12 months.

Construction will follow endorsement of the detailed designs and is forecast to take place over two financial years.