Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre Redevelopment

Front entrance of Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre

About the project

Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre (BARC) was constructed in 1995. The crèche, group fitness room, gym, stadium and air handling facilities have undergone some upgrades since, however the aquatic section has not.

The Centre currently has an annual attendance in excess of 240,000 visitors and is the busiest municipal facility in East Gippsland.

Extensive planning and community consultation have been undertaken over the last seven years. This included the creation of an Aquatic Strategy and Feasibility Study, which are endorsed by Council.

The Feasibility Study endorsed by Council in 2015 nominated BARC to provide improved aquatic facilities for the residents of East Gippsland, in line with modern standards and community expectations.

The need for improved facilities was identified within Council’s Aquatic Strategy 2015- 2019. The current facility no longer meets the needs of the East Gippsland community. The new facility provides Shire-wide benefit and caters for all age groups. The warm water pool will respond to the needs from a diverse range of the community.

The cost is approximately $6.55 million. East Gippsland Shire Council has made a commitment of $3.55 million towards the project and there has been a $3 million contribution from the Victorian Government.


Construction began in February 2018, with the new aquatic area expected to be open by May 2019.

An official opening and community celebration for the project is currently being planned for June 2019.

How can you know more or provide feedback?

About the project

Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre (BARC) was constructed in 1995. The crèche, group fitness room, gym, stadium and air handling facilities have undergone some upgrades since, however the aquatic section has not.

The Centre currently has an annual attendance in excess of 240,000 visitors and is the busiest municipal facility in East Gippsland.

Extensive planning and community consultation have been undertaken over the last seven years. This included the creation of an Aquatic Strategy and Feasibility Study, which are endorsed by Council.

The Feasibility Study endorsed by Council in 2015 nominated BARC to provide improved aquatic facilities for the residents of East Gippsland, in line with modern standards and community expectations.

The need for improved facilities was identified within Council’s Aquatic Strategy 2015- 2019. The current facility no longer meets the needs of the East Gippsland community. The new facility provides Shire-wide benefit and caters for all age groups. The warm water pool will respond to the needs from a diverse range of the community.

The cost is approximately $6.55 million. East Gippsland Shire Council has made a commitment of $3.55 million towards the project and there has been a $3 million contribution from the Victorian Government.


Construction began in February 2018, with the new aquatic area expected to be open by May 2019.

An official opening and community celebration for the project is currently being planned for June 2019.

How can you know more or provide feedback?

  • Come and play at BARC – new aquatics features set to open

    about 1 month ago

    The $6.55 million redevelopment of the Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre (BARC) set to open to the public on May 13.

    The project includes a warm water pool, interactive children’s water play area, an expanded aquatic area and upgraded all-accessible change facilities, and expanded reception and café areas.

    Mayor Cr Natalie O’Connell said the new warm water pool was recently filled and a world-class ‘pool pod’, to provide greater all-ability access to the aquatic facilities, installed. An official opening and community celebration for the project is currently being planned for June.

    “The community can start to use the new aquatics...

    The $6.55 million redevelopment of the Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre (BARC) set to open to the public on May 13.

    The project includes a warm water pool, interactive children’s water play area, an expanded aquatic area and upgraded all-accessible change facilities, and expanded reception and café areas.

    Mayor Cr Natalie O’Connell said the new warm water pool was recently filled and a world-class ‘pool pod’, to provide greater all-ability access to the aquatic facilities, installed. An official opening and community celebration for the project is currently being planned for June.

    “The community can start to use the new aquatics area and water play features, the spa and sauna and on-deck change areas, it’s a great community facility for the region.

    “Attractions in the children’s play area include A ‘Mega Soaker’ (a bucket which holds 160 litres of water and tips every few minutes), smaller buckets, shower head features, underwater bubblers, and water cannons. The features are designed to cater for children from birth, with areas suitable for water familiarisation through to fun for older children,” Cr O’Connell said.

    “It’s always an exciting time when you start to see years of planning become a reality with on-ground works. This redevelopment supports council’s aims for healthy and connected communities, and I look forward to celebrating the project’s completion.”

    Council wants to thank the contractor Brooker Builders and their tradies who worked tirelessly to get the job complete and all BARC members, user groups and individuals for their patience during the construction of the project.

    Council is contributing $3.55 million towards the project, with the Victorian Government providing $3 million from the Community Sports Infrastructure Fund.


  • Latest news: February 21, 2018

    over 1 year ago

    Due to our current works, these areas are closed:

    • Toddler pool;
    • Spa;
    • Sauna;
    • Café; and
    • Foyer.

    Entry to the BARC is through the Forge Theatre.

    If you would like to stay up to date on the progress of the redevelopment please subscribe to our mailing list.

    Due to our current works, these areas are closed:

    • Toddler pool;
    • Spa;
    • Sauna;
    • Café; and
    • Foyer.

    Entry to the BARC is through the Forge Theatre.

    If you would like to stay up to date on the progress of the redevelopment please subscribe to our mailing list.