"Council was aware at the commencement of this project that some members of the community wante

Dear Beagle Editor, Tracey Menzies-Stegbauer, Ian Thorpe's former AIS coach, was in Batemans Bay last week and believes that a 50 metre pool with the use of a boom that can divide a 50 metre pool into two 25 metre pools is the best way to meet the needs of a whole community. Ms Menzies-Stegbauer says "if I was looking at building, that's the avenue I would be pushing” and “I've worked in both a 25 and a 50 metre pool. I think if you are trying to get something the whole community can use, a 50 metre pool that you can break down is the ideal.” Fight for Batemans Bays 50m Pool wholeheartedly supports Bay Indoor Aquatic Centre Committee (BIACC) surveys, petitions and fundraising findings over the years, that conclude - "our community wants an aquatic centre that is open all year round, heated and indoors. The concept plans show that everybody has been considered and that it will be suitable for athletes, disabled, children, adults and the elderly." However, unintentionally, not everyone has been considered with the inclusion in the concept plan of only a 25 metre pool to replace the 50 metre pool capacity. Major pool user groups will not be able to use a 25 metre pool. The community wants and needs a facility that builds social cohesion because it includes everyone. Lets bring the community together not divide it. Ray Davidson representing Eurocoast Tri club said in a community meeting with Andrew Constance Bega MP recently “We have four Australian champions training” in Batemans Bay pool. Batemans Bay Swimming Club President Jenni McCarthy and Vice President Simone Elliot Vice said today in an open letter to Mayor Innes and Councillors “We also extend an invitation to yourself to attend our upcoming carnival that sees a huge number of swimmers and families travel to Batemans Bay to compete. This is something that won't happen if we have a 25m pool facility (Beagle Online November 24th). It has been suggested that an experienced coach is unlikely to come to a facility with only a 25 metre pool. This represents a problem for the future of swimming in Batemans Bay. Geoff Wells from Broulee Surf Surf Life Savers Club spoke about members of his club who use Batemans Bay Pool. This week Perfex the Art/Culture group met with Minister Constance seeking assurances of being able to change the concept plan for the Arts facility in the Mackay Park Precinct re development on the basis that “you know it is madness not to have a larger centre.” Fight for Batemans Bay's 50m pool and the swimming community, know it is madness to replace the 50 metre capacity - that has, for 51 years, been available to use by anyone who wants to use it – with 25 metre capacity only. We understand that Council has been working hard on a difficult and long task with the Mackay Park Precinct re development plans. We ask for an assurance from Minister Constance that the swimming community will be given the same consultation opportunities as Perfex has been, to include a 50 metre capacity in the Aquatic facility because we know it is madness not to have a 50m pool! Maureen Searson Fight for Batemans Bays 50m Pool