POOL RE­VIEW HOLDS WA­TER

MAYOR SAYS CEN­TRE WILL RE­OPEN AF­TER VIS­I­TOR NUM­BERS TELL THE STORY

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Alison Bald­ing

MT DRUITT Pool sup­port­ers are cel­e­brat­ing af­ter a re­view re­vealed vis­tor num­bers to the cen­tre has soared by 30 peo­ple a day, on av­er­age, and the com­mu­nity hub will re­open this sum­mer.

The re­sults jus­tify the out­cry which led to a trial re­open­ing af­ter the pool was shut for not be­ing “fi­nan­cially vi­able”.

The re­view will be con­sid­ered by Black­town Coun­cil when it meets tonight.

Mayor Stephen Bali said he had no doubt the pool would be back next sea­son.

BLACK­TOWN Coun­cil is ex­pected to pass rec­om­men­da­tions to in­vest in the fu­ture of Mt Druitt Pool when it meets tonight.

De­spite miss­ing out on cru­cial rev­enue with a late open­ing in 2014, a re­view of the swim­ming hub found visi­ta­tion was up by an av­er­age of 30 peo­ple a day in the 2014-15 sea­son com­pared with the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

The re­sults serve to jus­tify the com­mu­nity cam­paign that made the coun­cil re­open the pool for a trial sea­son af­ter it was shut for 18 months for not be­ing “fi­nan­cially vi­able”.

Mayor Stephen Bali said Mt Druitt Pool “is com­ing back” for this sum­mer pe­riod.

He said the re­view passed through the com­mit­tee meet­ing last week with­out any con­cerns raised, and he ex­pected a sim­i­lar re­sult when voted on by coun­cil­lors tonight.

“Over­all, no one is op­posed to the pool con­tin­u­ing, I’ve spo­ken to coun­cil col­leagues on all sides and the gen­eral con­sen­sus is it’s com­ing back,” Cr Bali said.

He said, given the demon­stra­tion of public sup­port for the pool, coun­cil­lors now needed to in­vest in its fu­ture.

“There have been a num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions made and now we have to man­age that to en­sure it con­tin­ues to im­prove,” Cr Bali said. “We need to look at things like ex­tend­ing learnto-swim schools and the schools’ take-up of swim­ming car­ni­vals.”

He said stream­lin­ing the op­er­a­tion of all of the coun­cil’s five pools un­der one con­trol had al­ready im­proved the ef­fi­ciency of pool man­age­ment.

“Now if a fam­ily go to en­rol in a swim school at Stan­hope and the time they want isn’t avail­able, but there is a va­cancy at Mt Druitt Pool, staff can see that and give them the op­tion to go there,” Cr Bali said.

Pas­sion­ate pool cam­paigner Kerri Brad­bury de­scribed the re­sult as “very heart­en­ing”. “It’s a pos­i­tive re­sult for our com­mu­nity and for our kids,” Ms Brad­bury said. “I’m glad I was per­sis­tent and so were many other res­i­dents.”

She said she and other res­i­dents would meet with the coun­cil next week to share ideas be­fore the next sea­son.

The pool has been saved just in time to cel­e­brate its 40th year in op­er­a­tion this sum­mer.

Pic­ture: CARMELA ROCHE

Mt Druitt res­i­dents will be able to en­joy splash­ing around in the pool this sum­mer.

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