Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Swimming Pools Strategy

Have Your Say


The Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) has six public swimming pools built over the last 60 years. There is no question public swimming pools are highly valued by the community, but they are also high cost assets. At some point, the current swimming pools will each reach the end of their useful life and we need to plan what to do as that point approaches.

A lot has changed in the past 60 years since the first local pool was built in Bega. Modern swimming pool facilities come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and features to meet current standards and community needs and expectations.

Council has adopted the goal:

To have a fit for purpose six pool Swimming Pool strategy that maximises opportunities for the community and visitors to participate and enjoy facilities that meet legislative and compliance requirements and have pools that are operating at modern standards. 

Currently, due to their age, most public pools in the Shire do not meet this goal. The future provision of public swimming pools to meet the goal will come with challenges relating to compliance, meeting needs and expectations, and funding. The most challenging will be funding, as Council currently does not have the significant funds needed to meet the goal and swimming pools are high cost facilities.

For more information visit our Swimming Pools Strategy project page.

Funding option

To fund the six pool Swimming Pool strategy Bega Valley Shire Council is considering, as outlined in the Discussion Paper, a Special Rate Variation (SRV) to provide long term security of swimming pool services to the community.

This SRV would allow Council to increase general income above the rate peg increase, which is annually determined by IPART, and to raise the revenue from all rate payers to help keep our pools operating.  This would ensure that the six pools meet all legislative and compliance requirements and are operating in modern standards. It also allows for fees to be kept at a level which is affordable to everyone.

Without this SRV Council will need to allocate more funding from the general fund budget which in turn reduces funding for other assets and services.  Pool fees would also increase excessively which would potentially render pools inaccessible with attendance and income then decreasing. It would also mean that once a pool has reached its end of useful life the pool will close as the funding to renew and upgrade the facility would not be available.

If an SRV application is lodged, and is successful who pays what is not the same across all ratepayers. Council’s general rates are calculated using two parts. The first, the base rate is the same for all ratepayers, the second component is linked to the land valuation for the property. The amount Council applies for is indicated as a percentage rise in income generated and does not directly relate to the increase on each individual property. To look at the impact of this and to calculate what your rates would look like if this SRV was applied visit our Rate Estimate calculator. Please have your current yearly rate notice at hand to help you make this calculation. This will show what the impact would have been in this year and will provide an indication as to the amount of the increase for your property next year.

Have Your Say information

Council is looking for your feedback on the proposed six pool, Swimming Pools Strategy Discussion Paper and the SRV that would potentially fund the long-term security of swimming pool services to our community. Council will consider all feedback when it reviews the responses on the model for the six pools and the potential SRV application.

Comments can also be left at the bottom of this page or emailed to

Please submit your feedback by 11:45pm Sunday 20 October 2019


Community Information Sessions

Join us at a community information session in your area. All sessions start at 5:30pm

  • Cobargo Hall
    Monday 16 September
  • Eden Log Cabin
    Tuesday 17 September
  • Pambula Hall
    Monday 23 September
  • Bemboka Hall
    Tuesday 24 September
  • Bega Civic Centre
    Monday 30 September
  • Candelo Hall
    Wednesday 2 October

Who's listening

Project timeline


Frequently Asked Questions -  Special Rate Variation (SRV)


Frequently Asked Questions -  Swimming Pools Strategy


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    Comments (6)

  • You have got to be kidding your rate charges are already excessive in this shire. Will be a happy day when councils are merged into larger shires which can only result in less running costs, less staff and hopefully less outsourcing of core council services. Should also result in a higher council responsibilty in the ways in which ratepayer revenue resources are utilised. Get back to basics, especially when federal resouces are reduced or under pressure

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  • Absolutely NOT!! Why should home and land owners have to fork out hundreds of dollars every year INDEFINITELY just so rent payers and visitors can use the pool. How about BVSC raise the cost of the pool entry instead??? The amount in rates we already pay to BVSC is disgusting and we don't see anything for our money. We don't even have a hard rubbish day! How about you look to to the people with money in Federal or State funding.

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  • how about the council leads by example.
    In this current economical situation where money is tight everywhere and people have to make hard choices about how and where they spend their money, maybe councilors should reflect back to when it was a privilege to be chosen to be a representative of the people.
    It would be nice to see members refuse or at least reduce some of the lurks associated with the position and maybe be, once again, held in high esteem within the community like they once were,

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  • A very uncomfortable feeling that BVSC constantly raises rates so that they are higher here than in some of our major cities, at the same time Council makes capital purchases of properties and loses ratepayers funds (Hotel Australia Eden). That rural residents with no waste service are now being charged for a catch-all waste charge even though there is also a charge at the waste station. Some ratepayers choose to live where there are virtually no services in order to live a more responsible 'lighter on the land' life. Community swimming pools are Council responsibility and BVSC should not be constantly suggesting extra rate imposts every time there seems to be a financial shortfall. Find another way.

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  • Our rates are already too high and we struggle to pay them. My family does use the pambula pool at great expense as we have to drive over an hour to get there as this is where the childrens swim lessons are. If there is a rate rise I am unsure if my family will continue to use the pool. Just won't be worth it I'll go back to teaching my kids in a river where it's free. So they will loose my $700 a year.... council would be better off asking people to donate money to support their local pool infrastructure improvements rather then forcing everyone to support something they may not even use.

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  • I would say definitely not as we pay some of the highest rates in the State already and the revenue could be put to better use stalling some of these rate hikes.

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