The Future of the 50m Pool

There are more than 2,000 publicly accessible aquatic facilities across Australia, 60% of which are government owned and operated.

Changing community demographics, an ageing population and a renewed focus on personal health and wellness is shifting the way communities use, connect and interact with their local aquatic facilities.

Over the next 10 years, more than 40% of this infrastructure will reach the end of its usable life, with a projected replacement cost of $8 billion.  Instead of a like for like replacement and the resulting OPEX drain for Councils, there are a number of alternative facility and infrastructure investments that not only satisfy community expectations for aquatic centres but create a publicly accessible and social focal point.

The Future of the 50m Pool Presentation

Analysing the latest industry trends from Australia and Europe, we will look at the options to replace the 50m pool; from the co-location of aligned facilities, to the inclusion of therapy and program pools, leisure and aquatic play experiences and fitness and gamified technological advancements.  Aligned with each communities’ specific needs, an inclusive and innovative design process can create a multi-use facility that delivers health and wellness outcomes for people of all ages and abilities within a social community hub.

Including real-life case studies from projects around Australia, we’ll explore the outcomes of these applied trends, the design and delivery sensitivities and investigate the community impact and return on investment; socially, culturally and economically.

Sessions are available online via Teams or can be hosted at your office.  Click the link below to book a session at a time that best suits you!

Burdekin AQ Centre Splashpark


A new Royal Life Saving Society Australia report  – The State of Aquatic Facility Infrastructure in Australia – has found:

  • The average Australian public pool was built in 1968
  • 500 (40%) of public pools will reach the end of their functional lifespan by 2030
  • $8 billion is needed to replace those 500 aging public pools

What does this mean for the 50m pool in our community?

Delivering insights into the future of the 50m pool, alongside potential alternatives from a community benefits, asset management and OPEX cost perspective, this presentation seeks to open conversations about what our communities really need.

Shane speaking at PLA QLD 2

Shane has shared this presentation with more than 150 delegates across conferences in QLD, NSW and VIC.


  1. See how Councils in Hervey Bay and Townsville are turning end-of-life infrastructure into revenue positive activities for their communities with real case studies.
  2. Explore inclusive design principles and stakeholder feedback in creating new assets in place of existing infrastructure (case study)
  3. Expand your thinking with alternatives to the 50m pool and the latest design trends, including therapy and program pools, leisure and aquatic play experiences and fitness and gamified facilities.
  4. Move beyond seasonal activation to provide maximum facility utilisation, with possibilities for longer daily operating hours and cold season access.
  5. Future proofing facilities to create sustainable and community focussed outcomes.
Burdekin Aquatic Centre Redevelopment
Shane Vardy Atlantis Profile



As the Aquatics Specialist for Atlantis, Shane has extensive experience in designing and project managing splashpark and water feature projects, from design consultations to project costing and hydraulic considerations.

With more than 5 years’ experience and several multi-million-dollar aquatic projects successfully specified and constructed, Shane is committed to sharing his knowledge so you can deliver an exceptional outcome for your client and an outstanding community asset.


0418 776 251


Connect with Shane Vardy on LinkedIn
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Richlands  QLD  4077

07 5301 9292

Ready-to-specify, architecturally designed aquatic elements for splashparks and recreational environments.  Proudly made in Australia.