Whoopsie Indeed

Dear Beagle Editor,

I would very much like to respond to Trevor Moore’s account of last Tuesday’s Council meeting in regard to the 50m pool “protagonists,” which I find highly inaccurate and insulting to those who have devoted so much time and effort to their investigations. All of their efforts were on behalf of those in our community who wish to retain a 50m pool in Batemans Bay, because our Council failed to ask us.

To begin with, you can’t ‘pack’ a council gallery at 10 am on a workday morning.

Mr Moore’s limited recall of info put by presenters, suggests he has extracted only that which supposedly supports his preconceived stance on the 50m pool issue.

To state, “in the view of some speakers” the fact that the 50m pool “has been there for 50 years, is reason enough for it to be replaced(with same),” is simply false.

All speakers listed and elaborated on, numerous reasons for retaining the 50m pool.

Mr Moore failed to recall:

* the long list of local community groups, schools, sporting/swimming bodies, etc etc. that support a 50m pool

* the fact that council sought letters of support for grant funding from schools, without disclosing the concept plan with a 25m pool. These schools later withdrew their support.

* residents who currently require use of a 50m pool will now have to travel outside the shire to Ulladulla or down to Narooma.

* that all ratepayers will be impacted by the development as we will be paying for ongoing costs well into the future, therefore we should have been allowed input.

* that Council has failed to comply with its own Community Engagement Framework by denying community input on such a large project that will impact us all.

* that the Sunset Committee vacancy resulted from disillusionment due to lack of community consultation, and committee recommendations being ignored by council.

* that Council controls all input and output of the committee, and their meetings are closed to the public.

* that the Fight for B’Bay Pool Group have spent considerable time and effort researching similar developments, obtaining comparable costings, organising meetings, contacting user groups, professionals etc, all of which has been passed on to the local member, who has asked Council to review their costings.

Therefore, the “protagonists,” as Mr Moore calls them, have done their research, have “marshalled the facts that support their case,” and have “factual supporting evidence.” Contrary to his glib, demeaning remarks.

Did Mr Moore stop to think that perhaps the Moruya 25m pool receives higher visitation because Moruya is not on the coast. The pool is within walking distance for most, the beach is not. There are also at least 3 schools who use it for summer sport, learn to swim, carnivals etc. Promising swimmers travel to the Bay for training in 50m pool. District, regional and state carnivals are held in 50m pools.

The issue is not a matter of of replacing ‘smaller water’ bodies with a 50m pool, but one of including smaller ‘water bodies’ while retaining a 50m pool.

The problem of ‘whoopsies,’ suggested by Councillor Nathan at the meeting, are more likely to occur where toddlers are. In all my years of swimming in my hometown 50m pool, such an incident never occurred. Perhaps Mr Moore could do some research on this!

As for ratepayers subsidising pool use, we subsidise a myriad of things in our shire, many of which we do not have knowledge of, utilise or benefit from(Council’s Mystery Shopper program at $46,000 pa, for example).

Mr Moore also states, that the time for “tough decisions” is when the grant money comes through.

However, if Mr Moore had taken note of the speakers, he would know that any changes to the Concept Plan, which council has already submitted, need to be made early otherwise funding may be jeopardised. This information was gleaned by the Fight for Bay 50m Pool Group, who have done their research!

It would be wise for Mr Moore to contact the Fight for B’Bay Pool Group, so they can supply him with the ‘facts they have marshalled,’ from their research, which he should have done before putting ‘pen to paper’ and displaying ignorance of the work that has been done on behalf of our community.

Patricia Gardiner

Deua River Valley