Sink or swim for pool

Avon Valley Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Lynn Gri­er­son

MT He­lena cam­paign­ers say the fate of their out­door swim­ming pool could go ei­ther way af­ter Mun­dar­ing Shire councillors agreed on Tues­day to with­draw from the cur­rent li­cence agree­ment.

The Shire of Mun­dar­ing will now ask to rene­go­ti­ate the cost shar­ing and a ter­mi­na­tion clause with the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment for the shared use of Mt He­lena Aquatic Cen­tre.

Mt He­lena R and R As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Joan Quinn said res­i­dents had won a three- year re­prieve for the pool at Eastern Hills Se­nior High School. A re­port on the com­mu­nity im­pacts, costs and us­age of the pool is due back to the coun­cil in March 2021.

“If the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment say they can’t af­ford this pool once the Shire with­draws from the cur­rent li­cence, there is a lot of risk – it could go ei­ther way,” Mrs Quinn said.

The coun­cil voted last year to re­duce the open­ing hours and cut public ac­cess from 22 to nine weeks over the sum­mer sea­son.

Res­i­dents re­sponded with a ‘ save the pool’ pe­ti­tion at­tract­ing 1242 sig­na­tures.

Sev­eral cam­paign­ers spoke at Wed­nes­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.

From page 1 Magda Wright, of Sawyers Val­ley, said she had worked as a swim­ming man­ager for the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment.

“It ( the pool) needs an in­jec­tion of ac­tiv­ity such as lessons for young and old, as well as the swim club reestab­lished,” she said.

Mt He­lena Pri­mary phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teacher Wal­ter Broun, of Chid­low, said the Shire should not opt out of “what is es­sen­tially a core busi­ness”.

“The in­creased user fees and lim­ited ac­cess at pool is cur­tail­ing its use. What pri­or­ity does our Shire place on as­sist­ing with im­prov­ing the health and wel­fare of our young peo­ple?” he said.

“Each year schools have used the aquatic cen­tre for in- term swim­ming, fac­tion and in­ter­school car­ni­vals.”

Mt He­lena pool com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tive Joan Quinn will at­tend a meet­ing about the pool on March 26 with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment and the Shire.

Pic­ture: David Baylis www. com­mu­ni­typix. com. au d480626

Mun­dar­ing Shire Pres­i­dent John Daw with cam­paigner Joan Quinn.

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