Australian taxpayers are spending $8.8 million to add 50cm to a 49.5m Darwin swimming pool

Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Seventeen years after John Clarke and Bryan Dawe satirised the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, where the 100-metres athletics track in the main stadium is only 94-metres-long in the mockumentary TV series The Games, life is imitating art, with the federal Government giving the Northern Territory government half of the $8.8 million cost required to extend a swimming pool in Darwin by 50cm to the competition standard of 50 metres.

Darwin’s Parap pool is just short of the Olympic standard, so fixing it will cost $176,000 a centimetre, AAP reports, with the Northern Territory government picking up the remaining $4.4 million.

Treasurer Joe Hockey was in Darwin today to announce that the Abbott government will help “make a 50-metre pool 50 metres” to enable competitions to be held there.

The extension converts the pool, which is 50-yards-long (45.76cm), to metric.

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