The City of Greater Geelong has allocated $4 million in its Proposed 2022-23 Budget to convert the Northern Aquatic and Community Hub site, located in Norlane, to renewable energy.
Council will convert the Norlane site from gas to electricity, slashing carbon emissions and delivering substantial operational savings.
The existing aquatic facilities at the Waterworld Leisure Centre are currently run on gas.
The Northern Aquatic and Community Hub is being delivered by the City of Greater Geelong, in partnership with the State and Federal Governments.
It will be a vibrant space for leisure and recreation activities, cultural and health programs, and community events, featuring:
- 1000 square metres of multi-purpose community space
- A 25m pool, hydrotherapy pool, Learn to Swim pool, water play area and waterslide
- Spa, sauna, and steam room
- A centrally located café
- A gymnasium, program rooms and occasional care facilities
- Consulting suites
- Expanded car parking spaces, landscaping, and aesthetic improvements to Corio Library
Switching to electricity will allow the hub to be powered by wind energy, and would deliver an estimated $150,000 per year in operational savings.
It would also cut emissions by about 1700t per year, and help the new facility achieve a five Star (Australian Excellence) Green Star rating.
The emissions reduction is equivalent to the annual energy use of more than 300 Victorian households.
City of Greater Geelong said it is committed to transitioning away from gas, to help meet its ultimate zero emissions target, under the Climate Change Response Plan 2021-2030.
As part of this zero-carbon plan, in 2021 Council partnered with 45 other Victorian municipalities to join the largest-ever emissions reduction project by local government in Australia.
Known as the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO), it provides the councils with 100 per cent renewable energy until the end of 2030.
Finance Portfolio Chair, Councillor Anthony Aitken, said the continued take-up of renewable energy would improve the efficiency of Council’s buildings and facilities.
“This additional $4 million investment, announced in the proposed budget, reflects how rapidly technology is changing from fossil fuel-based energy to renewables, and Council’s commitment to be a zero-carbon community as quickly as possible,” Mr Aitken said.
“By powering the new Northern Aquatic and Community Hub with electricity instead of gas, we can take full advantage of the wind energy we’ve secured as part of the VECO agreement.
“This will rapidly reduce our carbon emissions and substantially cut the power bills for our facilities.”
Image: Artist’s impression of the the Northern Aquatic and Community Hub floor plan. Image courtesy of City of Greater Geelong Council.