Fight for PCYC fu­ture

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRIS LEES

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.”

FIGHT FOR PCYC: Scott Ste­wart with Wil­liam Todd and Bev­er­ley Walsh who are pe­ti­tion­ing to en­sure the Cas­tle Hill PCYC fa­cil­i­ties re­main. Pic­ture: SHAE BEPLATE

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