Pool feed­back sought

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page -

Moira Shire Coun­cil is seek­ing com­mu­nity feed­back on a draft strat­egy that will see lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties di­rectly en­gaged in de­ter­min­ing the fu­ture for their lo­cal pools and aquatic fa­cil­i­ties across the next nine years.

Moira Shire Mayor Li­bro Mus­tica said the pro­gram, bro­ken up into three stages, pro­posed in the draft strat­egy cre­ated a time­line and op­por­tu­nity for com­mu­ni­ties to in­flu­ence the out­comes for their lo­cal aquatic fa­cil­i­ties.

“I want to re­as­sure all com­mu­ni­ties that we are not propos­ing pool clo­sures,” he said.

“Across the first three years we will work with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to pro­mote and en­cour­age in­creased use of the fa­cil­i­ties to achieve key per­for­mance tar­gets.

“Dur­ing this phase the pool will be main­tained to cur­rent stan­dards and we can test some of the feed­back and ideas we have re­ceived about open­ing hours and ac­tiv­i­ties.

“This phase will also help the com­mu­nity and coun­cil un­der­stand what may be re­quired to sup­port in­creased use into the fu­ture.

“Once the tar­gets are met the pool can move into the sec­ond phase where we be­gin plan­ning for in­vest­ment at the pool – and it won’t all be about the pool it­self.

“In some cases, it may be mod­ernising change rooms or updating the ac­tiv­i­ties that can run at the pool.

“Ob­vi­ously sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment will have to take into ac­count avail­able fund­ing, com­pet­ing lo­cal pri­or­i­ties and pro­vid­ing best value to the com­mu­nity and coun­cil,” Mayor Mus­tica said.

Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Swim­ming club head coach Lyn­don Hart and coach Greg Bye said some small works through Moira Shire’s Cap­i­tal Works pro­gram would en­sure added us­age to the Yar­ra­wonga Out­door Pool.

“Mak­ing it free en­try would get more us­age for the pool,” Mr Bye said.

“We would be happy to have a cou­ple more morn­ing ses­sions with num­bers for these ses­sions be­ing mas­sive,” Mr Hart said.

“We could jus­tify five morn­ings with the num­ber of peo­ple we get to these ses­sions.”

Cur­rently the pool’s open­ing times are from the start of De­cem­ber through to March 11 with the fol­low­ing times as fol­lows. Morn­ing ses­sions - Mon­day, Wed­nes­day, Fri­day - 6am -8am; week­days (school terms); 3.30pm – 7pm; week­ends – 1pm – 7pm; week­days (school hol­i­days) – 11am – 7pm. For days fore­cast over 38°C the pool is open un­til 8pm.

“An­other thing we think could get more us­age to our pool is start­ing the sea­son a month ear­lier, we have had the weather to jus­tify open­ing ear­lier in re­cent years,” Mr Bye said.

“Yar­ra­wonga is the only pool in Moira’s strat­egy that is deemed ‘good’.

“One of our big­gest trou­bles is that we can’t in­crease our us­age if we can’t grant those in our com­mu­nity who have a dis­abil­ity ac­cess to the pool, we cur­rently don’t have any suit­able dis­abled ac­cess,” Mr Hart added.

“We be­lieve we should have per­ma­nent shade struc­ture over the shal­low end of the pool as our swim­ming lessons take part in the af­ter­noon, the hottest part of the day and you have par­ents stand­ing there watch­ing their child who are then hav­ing to stand in the sear­ing sun.

“Cap­i­tal works on our pool would see an in­crease in us­age.”

Mayor Mus­tica said the third phase, across the fi­nal three years of the strat­egy, will look at the sub­stan­tial and gen­er­ally more ex­pen­sive cap­i­tal works that will be re­quired to as­sist the pool to op­er­ate suc­cess­fully into the fu­ture and to meet the fu­ture needs of the com­mu­nity.

“Over­all this draft strat­egy is about ask­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity to work with us to map the fu­ture for their lo­cal pools at Yar­ra­wonga, Co­bram, Nathalia, Nu­murkah and Strath­mer­ton as well as the slide and splash park at Yar­ra­wonga and the in­door aquatic cen­tre at Nu­murkah,” Mayor Mus­tica said.

“The strat­egy also al­lows for some lo­cal flex­i­bil­ity for ex­am­ple a fa­cil­ity may need longer in phase one to reach the tar­gets.

“Most of our pools were built in the 1960s. To­day back­yard pools, home air con­di­tion­ing and chang­ing com­mu­nity in­ter­ests are re­defin­ing the use and need for com­mu­nity swim­ming pools.

“We don’t have the an­swers to what should hap­pen. We need the com­mu­nity to give us feed­back firstly on whether the pro­posed strat­egy sounds like a good way for­ward, and then to re­main in­volved and work with us across the nine-year pro­gram,” he said.

The draft strat­egy is avail­able from coun­cil’s web­site and ser­vice cen­tres and com­mu­nity mem­bers have un­til March 29 to pro­vide feed­back to coun­cil.

Par­ents and chil­dren pic­tured on Mon­day af­ter­noon par­tic­i­pat­ing in swim lessons at the Yar­ra­wonga Out­door Pool. Swim Teacher Jac­inta McCrae said a shade struc­ture over the pool would be ben­e­fi­cial for lessons and to in­crease num­bers.

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