Dear Beagle Editor, At a meeting held yesterday Mayor Innes made a commitment to consult all swimmer groups, including those not yet consulted, at forums /meetings (yet to be announced) re. the proposed Batemans Bay $40 (?) million Mackay Park combined Aquatic /Arts Complex. The meeting was attended by the most senior Eurobodalla Shire Council Officers including Mayor Liz Innes , General Manager Dr. Catherine Dale , Planning Director Lindsay Usher , Recreation Director Mark Upsom, Community Liaison Officer Cathy Reilly , Councillors Pat McGinlay, Maureen Nathan & Phil Costello : plus 3 “Fight for Batemans Bays 50 m Pool Group” Maureen Searson, Coral Anderson & Peter Coggan. It was a one hour long meeting with potentially positive outcomes . There is more ‘breaking news’ : Council has also given an undertaking to revisit & research comparative construction & running costs of a 25 m pool & the preferred 50 m pool . The 50 m pool, although not included in Otium 1. or 2 plans presented to Councillors at the Extraordinary meeting on 29th August, is now back on the table . This is a huge concession from Council. There is now an opportunity to have more realistic costings ie. comparing a 25 m pool with a 50 m pool. Council will also arrange “team visits” to similar Aquatic / Arts complexes as part of the due diligence needed before the biggest local government project ever to be managed by Eurobodalla Council is undertaken . It is of course totally dependent on a successful grant application which should be known within several months. A new Council Recreation Officer Mark Upsom has recently been appointed to assist with this exciting project . General Manager, Dr. Catherine Dale restated at the meeting that there are four stages in the grant’s process & emphasised that it was only in its first ‘Concept Stage’ & changes to the submitted Concept Plan could be made . However the ‘Fight for Batemans Bay 50 m Pool Group’ fear that these changes as outlined by Dr. Dale maybe very limited & restricted by conditions of the grant process. Information today received from NSW Sports Infrastructure Fund is that once funding has been finalised, it becomes difficult to include significant variations. If there are any changes to the application/concept plan as submitted, then sooner rather than later is better. To expedite changes to the submitted Concept Plans then the community meetings & research promised by Council should be carried out ASAP. To this end all swimmers or swimming groups who would like to participate with supporting letters or attend meetings/forums (as explained above) must act now. “Fight for Batemans Bays 50 metre Pool Group “ & others who have ownership/stakeholder interest in the proposed Mackay Park Complex will be meeting local member for Bega, Andrew Constance, on Friday to present a community initiated case for making changes to the Concept Plan to include a 50 metre pool to replace the council’s inadequate 25 m pool. Additional hydrotherapy , toddlers pools , wet & wild pools ,water slides will all be included. It is noted that there are 6 water bodies in the Concept Plan but not a 50 metre pool which can fit & is affordable. We have had a 50 metre pool for 51 years. “The Fight for B.B. 50 m Pool Group “ look forward to continuing our campaign to win back our 50 m pool & have it included in the Plans for the proposed Mackay Park combined Aquatic /Arts Complex . We need your support. It’s important for groups & individuals such as the Eurocoast Triathlon Club, BBIAC, Batemans Bay Swim Club, lap swimmers etc. are involved & all are invited to contact “Fight for Batemans Bays 50 m Pool" Group. It’s crunch time . Speak up and /or come & join us and don’t forget to support the local Batemans Bay Pool at “Pack The Pool” 10:30am 25th Nov. Peter Coggan
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