New $14 million aquatic centre boost to North-West Community Tue 5 June 2012 Premier Premier Download hi-res version The Premier, Lara Giddings, today turned the first sod for the new $14 million Devonport Aquatic Centre, marking the start of construction which will create employment opportunities for the region. Ms Giddings said the new aquatic centre will provide year-round access for more than 61 000 people, including fitness and water-therapy groups, schools, learn-to-swim and first-aid programs as well as lifesaving and swimming clubs. "This is a huge boost for the Devonport community, creating jobs during the construction phase and additional jobs once the Centre is up and running," Ms Giddings said. "High-quality sport facilities enhance communities by providing opportunities for recreation and fitness, along with long-term health benefits that come with staying physically active. "The Tasmanian Government recognises the importance of sport and recreation, with our health system saving more than $60 million each year through people playing sport and being active." The new indoor facilities will feature a 25-metre eight-lane pool, a learn-to-swim and play-pool, fitness gym, multi-purpose room, cafe, change rooms and toilets. Additional works include a car park extension, pathways, landscaping and the relocation of existing play equipment. The Tasmanian Government is providing $5 million towards the new centre, with $5 million also provided by the Australian Government. Ms Giddings said the Tasmanian Government investment in the new Aquatic Centre would provide benefits beyond the Devonport community. "I am confident this facility will be used by people from across the North West region and will provide another reason for people to live and work in this fantastic part of the State." A 2010 University of Tasmania report demonstrates the sport and recreation sector directly contributes $819 million to our economy each year, employing more than 13 000 people. The report also shows for every $1 invested in sport and recreation, Tasmania receives more than $4 in benefits.