Half Size Pool = Half Fake News?
In the email newsletter on 22 September, Council announced it has applied to the NSW Government for grant funding to build a regional aquatic, arts and cultural facility in Batemans Bay. It says in part:
“The concept includes a 25-metre, eight-lane pool, separate warm water program pool and spa area, a toddler and leisure area and water-play splash pad and slides. Consultants who prepared the business case for the facility noted the limited local market for a 50-metre pool when compared to the strong demand for recreation and program/therapy pool space, given Eurobodalla’s ageing population and the family tourist market.”
Firstly, what isn’t said is that the people of Batemans Bay will no longer have their existing 50 metre pool – it will be demolished!
It follows, if this is allowed to happen, that serious swimmers who wish to train or compete in an Olympic length pool will have to travel to Narooma 59 minutes south or Ulladulla 42 minutes north and out of our shire. Imagine who will come off second best in the increased competition for the use of these facilities for any events or carnivals involving clubs and schools in the shire.
Secondly, what also isn’t being said in the newsletter is that the Queensland based consultants who made the comments on levels of demand were the same consultants, who on council’s instructions, prepared the draft Pool Strategy which is yet to be adopted by councillors but which underpins the business case for the proposed $46 million development.
If you read the above quote carefully, the consultants haven’t actually said a 50 metre pool isn’t needed, they are saying the other additions are likely to be even better patronised – and that’s a good thing because they will be necessary to increase the revenue to offset the costs!
Council expects pools to have a life between 45 and 70 years so we are committing several generations to the decision so it had better be the right one!
Don’t let the 50 metre pool disappear! Insist through your councillors that the new facility does not detract from what already exists and we continue to have a full Olympic length 50 metre pool.
Jeff de Jager