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  • World-class facility for Cairns unveiled with a splash

    The new $24 million Tobruk Memorial Pool features a range of new pools and facilities for both locals who enjoy a dip and competitive athletes from around the world.

    The $24 million redevelopment of Tobruk Pool was unveiled at a memorable gala event today, complete with two legendary Aussie diggers.

    The last remaining 'Rat of Tobruk' from the Far North 98-year-old Henry Tranter and Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC were the guests of honour at today's poolside celebrations.

    The new facility includes new 50 metre and 25 metre pools, a Flow Rider leisure water area and Kid’s Wet Play Area, as well as an upgraded hydrotherapy pool, new buildings to house the reception, a café and shop and change rooms.

    Shade structures were also installed to provide sun protection across all of the pools, along with flood lighting for night-time events.

    The project was led by a $18.9 million contribution by Cairns Regional Council with support from the Coalition Government to the tune of an additional $4.8 million.

    The redevelopment created 50 jobs during construction and is now home to 44 ongoing jobs.

    Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said infrastructure such as the Tobruk Memorial Pool redevelopment was vital for retaining young people in regional cities.

    "Providing facilities such as the Tobruk Memorial Pool in our regional towns and cities is part of creating communities that our children and grandchildren want to stay in, or come back to,” Minister Nash said today.

    Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said the Tobruk Pool site had an important history.

    "Originally built as a memorial site funded with the help of the Rats of Tobruk Association, the community worked proudly together to reinforce the significant link between the pool and our local veterans of the Tobruk campaign," Mr Entsch said.

    “Not only has the project upgraded this wonderful heritage listed red brick façade and clock tower but it has also allowed enhancement of the ANZAC elements of the precinct including the landscaping of ANZAC Walk.”

    Mr Entsch said the redevelopment would also help attract major swimming events to the region.

    “It will also help attract training squads who can utilise our connectivity through our world-class international airport, the scientific resources of JCU’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, and our ability to accommodate large numbers of visitors in the summer months with over 26,000 hotel rooms, highly‐skilled hospitality staff, and restaurants and ancillary services through our established tourism industry,” Mr Entsch ended.