Pool poll ‘sabotage’
TOWNSVILLE City Council has been accused of sabotaging a survey being done of patronage at Kokoda Memorial Pool.
Regular pool user Neill Groves said there was speculation among Kokoda users that pool user calculations were being done at quiet periods during the day.
‘‘The council told Kokoda that they’re doing a survey on the pool — this survey is being done at 9am and midday, when no one should be in the pool anyway, and 4pm,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s obvious they’re trying to fudge the figures from my way of thinking.
‘‘There’s an ulterior motive there to close the pool.
‘‘I contacted (Townsville City Councillor) Dale Parker and he said it was just the media spinning the public.
‘‘They are paying security guards with our money to do a head count on a Saturday and Sunday, and they’re only counting people in the pool and not outside the pool and it’s costing the council heaps.’’
Mr Groves said he suspected the council had other plans for the land that would earn them more than the swimming pool.
‘‘My theory is the land will be sold to developers,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s my fear — it’s such a prime piece of a land and they not only get the initial sale price but they get the rates every year.
‘‘The whole pool has been let run down until it gets to be a massive repair bill and they say it costs too much to fix. ‘‘I think that’s their strategy. ‘‘I think the council has done a good job in our parks and The Strand and I’m not dead set against the council or anything but I think they need to keep Kokoda open for everyone.
‘‘It’s called the Kokoda Memorial Pool, named after our boys who went into combat so it shouldn’t be just closed down.’’
Mr Groves and his wife attend the pool three times a week along with about 20 others for morning water aerobics.
He has been going for four years and said he couldn’t imagine where he would go otherwise.
‘‘If they close that pool I don’t know where we will go,’’ he said.
‘‘If they close that pool everyone will have to go to Long Tan because Tobruk is too far for most of us to travel.
‘‘People love this pool and I’ve got three pages of signatures from people all over Townsville that come to that pool.’’
Mr Neill said Kokoda Pool management staff had tried to submit their own counts of swimmers but the council refused their findings.
Townsville City Council Acting Mayor Jack Wilson said residents needed to ‘take a cold shower’ and stop gossiping about the fate of Kokoda.
‘‘I know we have got someone appointed to monitor the usage of the pool,’’ he said.
‘‘We are actively monitoring the pool for the amount of swimmers.
‘‘The Mayor has made it clear the council is auditing all the public swimming pools in Townsville at the moment, which includes Kokoda.
‘‘We’re looking at the usage of patronage of the pool and whether the decision is good or bad, we will make a decision after the results are in,’’ he said.
‘‘Until then my advice to people talking about Kokoda pool is to take a cold shower.’’
FIGURES ‘FUDGED’ . . . Helen and Neill Groves say users want Kokoda pool to stay open