Fight for PCYC future
PCYC Queensland is refusing to say whether it will close the Castle Hill PCYC and move to North Shore, despite more than 100 people wanting the facility to stay where it is.
An electronic petition against “the pending closure of the Castle Hill PCYC” has been signed by 162 people, while a paper petition is also being circulated in Townsville.
Bill Todd is behind the push to stop the PCYC being moved. He said it would be “totally impractical” to move the centre to North Shore.
“There are a lot of women over 60 and they enjoy doing the water aerobics, they can socialise and it’s therapeutic,” Mr Todd said. “If they get the go ahead to shut it down there’s no way all the water aerobic ladies will go to North Shore.”
Mr Todd said he was hoping to get 500 people to sign the petition to stop any future move.
“I just want it to be left alone,” he said. “Let’s keep going with the way we’re going, there’s always kids and people there.”
PCYC Queensland chief executive officer Phil Schultz said it remained in negotiation with Townsville City Council about renewing the Castle Hill lease but no agreement had been reached. Mr Schultz did not answer a question about whether the centre would stay at its current location in Hugh St, Belgian Gardens.
“As PCYC Queensland remains in negotiation with council regarding renewing the Castle Hill lease it is simply too early to speculate,” he said
“There has been discussions about a possible relocation to North Shore but no decisions have been made.”
Mr Schultz said PCYC Queensland had corresponded directly with people who had expressed concerns.
Mayor Jenny Hill said a draft lease agreement for Castle Hill PCYC to remain where they were was presented more than two years ago. This has not been accepted. “The terms of the lease included renting the land for $ 1 a year but the Castle Hill PCYC was required to maintain the buildings and infrastructure that the club owns on the site,” Cr Hill said.
She said the future location was a decision for the club.
It is understood the pool is the biggest maintenance cost and a large part of the centre’s uncertainty.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart is sponsoring the petition, which will be presented to Queensland Parliament.
“A number of people came along ( to a town hall meeting) and expressed their concerns,” he said.
Mr Stewart said people thought the best way to get things moving was to alert the State Government.
“There is a lot of interest in this, particularly for the senior members of the community,” he said. “The pool is the main source of activity for a number of people. We just want some community support behind it.”