At midday on Saturday at the council’s Village Centre information kiosk they set up to answer questions pertaining to the Mackay Park project I asked Dr Catherine Dale the following questions:
Question: Why can’t you release to the public the audit on the BB 50m pool?
Answer: It’s commercial in confidence and the consultants will not release it.
Question: Why don’t you include a 50m pool in the cost estimates for comparison with a 25m pool costings in the concept plan report for the design stage?
Answer: We are working on that, we are in talks about that.
Other council spokespersons informed me that the concept plan could be drastically changed by architects and may not even look like the original when it goes to the design stage.
I was informed that my email requesting the dimensions of the site for the proposed complex in Mackay Park had been received. I asked if we could have an inspection of the site at their earliest convenience.
I asked once again as to why to their literature handed out advising ‘why we can’t have a 50m pool’ – Their response was pretty much rote with their Frequently Asked Question handout ‘ to ensure the new facility is financially affordable a 50m pool is not proposed. A 50m indoor pool would cost the community approximately $6m more to build and up to $300,000 per year more to operate……detailed planning for the Mackay Park precinct will consider the potential expansion of the new facilities including the options of increasing the 25m pool from 8 lanes to 10 and/or the potential opportunity to include a 50m pool on the site in the future….council will continue to engage with the broader community throughout this more detailed design stage.’
Councillor Jack Tait did however announce to the public attending the kiosk that ‘the results of the grant application would be known within 3 weeks’.
There seems to be conflicting evidence here however. On the one hand council is stating that the 50m pool will be demolished and replaced with a 25m pool and yet on the other hand the general manager is stating that she is investigating the comparative costs of the 25m and the 50m pool.
Maybe at their next kiosk on Monday 11th, council officers could clarify this confusion.
Also: Why not include the 50m pool at this stage? Their figures do not add up and the mayor has not fulfilled her undertaking to provide a review of the business case and costings.
Regarding the state of our current 50m pool. It was with interest to read a post on social media by a local group advising everyone to become informed about "what is planned for our exciting new aquatic centre that will replace the old worn out outdoor pool that is nearing the end of its life" Unless that group is privvy to the unreleased engineers report there is no qualification to their comment of its condition or life expectancy. The Batemans Bays 50m Pool team is aware that the existing 50m pool at Batemans Bay could be retained and upgraded with an estimated $500,000 maintenance program on plumbing. It seems futile to sit by and watch councillors demolish a multi million dollar asset and replace it with an unsuitable 25m pool. Come along to our ‘engagement’ kiosk at the Village Centre Monday 12th February from midday outside the Coffee Club.