Dear Beagle Editor,
In an article in 'The Beagle' on 14 August 2017 (Aquatic Centre Meeting & Update), it was reported: "Via a letter that raised many issues Carolyn Harding read out the most critical elements: Nippers sign ups and swimming club memberships were hitting a rock bottom in the Shire." Further: "Ms Arthur and Ms Nicholson from Council also heard that the consequences of Nippers dropping off would have a carry-on effect up the line to such a point that our local beaches won’t have the Life Guards they now enjoy over summer months as numbers dwindle." These points are completely incorrect. The majority of the surf clubs in the shire were at record numbers of Nipper registration in 2016/17. The Surf Life Saving Far South Coast Branch AGM was held yesterday. The meeting was asked if anyone from any surf club or the executive of the branch had any contact with Batemans Bay Indoor Aquatic Centre Committee Inc, ESC, or The Beagle. It was reported that no one has spoken to any of these parties about nipper numbers. We believe you have an obligation to ensure that statements are accurate before publically reporting them. This reporting is damaging to our clubs and our branch and we would like to have this corrected as a matter of urgency. Karyn Starmer Vice President Moruya SLSC Editors Note: Attending the meeting I heard first hand that "a member" (name withheld however contact me if you want it) of the Aquatic Committee involved with Nippers and Surf Club had informed them that Nippers signups and swimming had "hit rock bottom". This apparently was not news to those in attendance and gave the opportunity for several in the room to reiterate how important the pool was to the provision of life guards that then serviced our tourism demands. As the member of the Aquatic Committee was identified as being "involved" with Nippers the comment regarding declining numbers was considered to be "informed". The Beagle apologises for taking the word of those "so called informed" in attendance including the well informed Council Recreational staff who did not correct the statements of declining Nipper numbers when they were voiced. It is reassuring to hear from the Moruya Surf Life Saving Club and learn that there is NO decline. It is however disappointing to hear that such negative rumours and "hearsay" were used by several attending the Aquatic Meeting as one means to persuade the urgency and functionality of the proposed 25m pool.