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Byron Shire
July 16, 2024

$50m Mullum pool proposed on Lot 22

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Council-owned Lot 22 on Stuart Street, Mullumbimby, is proposed for affordable housing, yet it is also floodprone.

An aquatic strategy to be presented by Council staff in the upcoming meeting suggests a new 50m, eight-lane pool be built adjacent to the Mullumbimby Skate Park, within Lot 22 land.

A warm-water pool and ‘program pool and splash pad’ is also proposed.

If adopted by councillors on Thursday, the proposal will go on public exhibition, along with a proposal to upgrade the Byron Bay pool on Main Beach.

Council-owned Lot 22 was submerged in the 2022 floods, and while Council made considerable efforts over years to develop the land, the plans were eventually abandoned owing to flood constraints.

While community feedback is some time away, staff say in the upcoming agenda, ‘a shire-wide aquatic strategy has progressed to a stage where two preferred options have been prepared to concept stage to allow for public exhibition’.

Byron bay swimming pool has been closed due to a valve failure. Photo www.panoramio.com

Byron pool renewal

A renewal of the existing pool in Byron Bay is estimated to cost $28,267,000, while a new Mullum pool is expected to cost $50,410,000.   

Authors of the staff report, Malcolm Robertson and Pattie Ruck, say, ‘both Mullumbimby and Byron Bay pools are approaching the end of their functional life and are requiring significant upgrades’.

They were at pains to explain that building on a floodplain was achievable, and would be built ‘slightly higher than the recorded 2022 flood event’.

They write, ‘The recent Post 2022 Event Flood Analysis commissioned by the NSW state government identified some issues in the hydraulic model upstream of this proposed site’.

‘… the entire site will need to be filled with an average depth of 1.4m to raise the floor level above the flood level. This will involve more than 20,000 cubic metres of fill material with the proposal put forward, making allowance for the pool shells and balance tanks. This can be accomplished without affecting no-fill zones and will ensure that risk of inundation is minimised’.

As for financial considerations, staff write, ‘Consultants have suggested that a staged approach is possible for Mullumbimby as funds become available, however that would create duplication of operational and management costs across two facilities. Single stage construction will allow economies of scale and is the recommended approach’.

In May, councillors voted to explore and implement options to heat the Mullumbimby pool. Back in February 2018, staff were asked to prepare concept plans for a possible refurbishment of the Byron Bay pool ‘to ascertain community priorities and preferences’.

Staff write, ‘This project is ongoing, but has been delayed, as Council seeks resolution with the Crown regarding alignment of boundaries’.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Absolutely a disgraceful use of rate payers money. There is already a pool accross the road.
    What about spending $50 million on rebuilding Friday Hut Road, or any other road in the hinterland, disgusting abuse of rate payers money the council should be ashamed to say they manage our money. Or better still they should all be sacked and let responsible qualified people do the job they are supposed to do. If the people that work for council actually lived in the Byron Shire they would see what we have to put up with regarding roads. We live in a small area in the Byron Shire with the combined value of properties worth more than a billion dollars and we have third world roads. Absolutely disgraceful.

  2. I support public swimming pools but if Byron Council hasn’t the budget to repair the plethora of potholes all over shire or to address the numerous flooding issues, let alone to build any affordable housing , how could it possibly fund the $79 million to undertake these projects? Without very substantial funding from the State or Federal government this sounds like a pipedream.

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