“Stay positive and united” was the advice given by Kathy Arthur, Eurobodalla Shire Council (ESC) Director Community Arts and Recreation, at the recent meeting of the Batemans Bay Indoor Aquatic Centre Committee (BBIAC).
Kathy and Lindsay Usher (ESC Director of Planning and Sustainability Services) were invited to the meeting to answer questions about the current situation re the Mackay Park Precinct.
Above: Lindsay Usher, Pam Shields, Carolyn Harding, and Kathy Arthur
President Carolyn Harding explained that, although BBIAC members would ideally like a 50 metre pool to be included in the proposed Aquatic Centre, they understand why, at this stage, the concept plan includes only a 25 metre x 8 lane one. Also included in the plan are a hydrotherapy pool, learn to swim pool, leisure pool and toddlers pool, water slides, and an inclusive adventure water splash pad. All these elements need to be at different temperatures and can therefore not be combined in one 50metre pool. Together they will cater for everybody from children to the elderly, including competitive swimmers, athletes, people with disabilities, and people doing hydrotherapy and aquarobics for rehab and fitness. The Centre will suit both members of the community and tourists all year round.
Carolyn explained that this concept plan was put together when an amazing one off opportunity arose with significant grant money becoming available from the NSW Government. In response to questions as to why a 50 metre pool was not included, Kathy and Lindsay emphasised that expansion to a 50 metre pool, and the ongoing extra costs, are beyond council’s financial means, and may come at the expense of the other pools in the plan. However, the concept plan can be modified when the result of the grant application is known. Meanwhile perceived division in the community may jeopardise the grant.
Kathy and Lindsay answered several questions, quoting the research they had done into other aquatic centres. It was recognised that closure of the Bay Pool in winter necessitated a few families travelling to Ulladulla to enable their children to continue their training, and others travelling there for fitness etc. However, this winter swimming was all done in a 25metre pool. Perhaps continuous flow machines could be included in the new complex for lap swimmers to use during peak times.
Year round opening may attract a good coach to the Eurobodalla.
Carolyn thanked Kathy and Lindsay for coming to the meeting and clearing up a few misconceptions. Lindsay thanked the Committee for the opportunity to engage with the members, and for the many long years of hard effort to get to this point.
Unfortunately, the community may have to wait until the new year to hear the result of the grant application. If the application is successful, several processes will follow, including further consultation with the community, and tenders will be called for.
At the AGM, held after the general meeting, President Carolyn Harding listed the many activities and fund raisers held during the year and thanked the executive and members for their efforts throughout the year.
Election of the new Committee followed, resulting in the following: President Carolyn Harding, Vice President Rodney Weber, Secretary Pam Shields, Asst. Secretary Jacki Harding, Treasurer Barbara Gellatly, Publicity Officer Jennie Hapgood, Asst. Publicity Officer Dee Jones, and Public Officer Carolyn Harding. Committee members include Jennie Hapgood, Tanya Nugent, Corina Fembock, and John Nugent.
BBIAC holds regular stalls at the Village Centre, and sausage sizzles at Bunnings, where members can answer questions. If you would like to help the Committee in its efforts to finally get an Indoor Aquatic Centre for Batemans Bay, or would like further information, find them on Facebook or contact Carolyn on 0423214333.