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Sod turning marks commencement of Aqua Energy redevelopment
October 10, 2023

Representatives from the Victorian Government, Wellington Shire Council, the John Leslie Foundation and community have gathered to mark the start of construction of the $23 million redevelopment of Aqua Energy Leisure Centre.  

An official turning of the sod ceremony was held in Sale on Tuesday 10 October, signalling the start of work for the multi-million project, which is set to transform the centre into a contemporary community facility for everyone to enjoy.

Due for completion in June 2025, the redeveloped facility will feature a brand new state-of-the-art 25-metre pool and hall with a zero depth water play area, fully accessible single level pool deck for universal access, brand new change facilities, a Changing Places facility, new sauna, and a dedicated Learn to Swim office and coordination space.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Cr Ian Bye expressed excitement at the commencement of the project, describing it as the largest infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in the Shire’s history.

“This redevelopment is a significant undertaking and one that has been a priority for Council for several years. We look forward to delivering a fantastic new facility to support the whole community”.

“In line with our Council Plan, health and wellbeing play a significant role in the economic and social fabric of our community. The new facility will not only encourage active participation, but it will also offer an inviting and accessible space for the community to come together and connect.  

“We ask for the community’s patience as we move through the various stages of construction and for regular users of Aqua, we encourage you to take advantage of our temporary pool facilities at West Sale and Sale Outdoor Pool”.  Cr Bye said.

The $23 million facility upgrade has been made possible thanks to the Victorian Government, including $2 million from the Local Sports Infrastructure Fund and $10 million from the Community Sports Infrastructure Loan Scheme, $950,000 from the John Leslie Foundation, with the remainder of the project funded from Wellington Shire Council. Council is also intending to utilise funds from the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

For more information about the project, visit

Pictured: Tom McIntosh MLC, Danny O'Brien MP, Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye, Councillor Crossley, Councillor Maher, Brian Castles from John Leslie Foundation and Aqua Energy community user groups attend the turning of the sod ceremony in Sale.

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