The Hepburn Shire Council has appointed the Otium Planning Group as consultants for the Shire’s Aquatics Strategy.

Otium Planning Group provides consultancy services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific.

They are  industry leaders in planning for aquatic facilities and services with recent and current experience in developing aquatic strategies and feasibility studies for Victorian rural and metropolitan Councils. The consultants have strengths in being able to draw on extensive market research and financial modelling data gained from their extensive aquatic project experience and they are also able demonstrate a clear appreciation of the local context.

Otium will work closely with officers and Council in the development of and Aquatics Strategy for the Shire. Officers are currently finalising the consultation program to ensure that it is consistent with Council’s recently adopted Community Engagement Policy.

Daylesford Indoor Aquatics Centre (DIAC) secretary and spokesman, Tim Bach, said, “This brings us one step closer to upgrading aquatics facilities in Hepburn Shire. We certainly hope that the outcome will be a recommendation for an indoor aquatics facility in the Shire that is financially and environmentally sustainable.”

DIAC has been working for four years to demonstrate the feasibility of an indoor aquatics centre and was instrumental in initiating discussions between Council and Sport and Recreation Victoria which resulted in funding for the Strategy.

“We look forward to presenting our Scoping Study to the consultants,” said Dr Bach. “The community engagement and discussion will be an important process in framing the strategy. I would encourage residents who feel strongly to put their views to council through the Hepburn Together survey.”

The Hepburn Together survey is available online. Council is also holding pop-up sessions throughout the Shire. Details are available on the survey page.


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