Dear Beagle Editor,
The results so far for the Survey Monkey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XLZWFCG (uploaded on March 15th) regarding the planned year round indoor heated Aquatic Centre at Mackay Park Precinct shows that of all responders 86.60% of people DO NOT SUPPORT Eurobodalla Council’s plans to replace the 50 metre pool with a 25 metre pool. Only 18.3% of people DO SUPPORT Council’s plans Out of all responders 56% of people SUPPORT a year round indoor heated aquatic centre with a 25 metre pool and an outdoor 50 metre pool. While 37% of people SUPPORT an indoor heated 50 metre pool, only 10% of people SUPPORT an indoor 25 metre pool.
In the recent past Eurobodalla Council and the Batemans Bay Indoor Aquatic Centre Committee (BBIACC) have dismissed the 50 metre v 25 metre debate around the planned Aquatic/Arts Centre at Mackay Park Precinct as a non-issue. What they expected from the community, when plans to downsize the 50m pool to a 25m pool without consulting those who use the Batemans Bay pool in particular, and the wider community were unveiled is a mystery.
Mayor Innes, Council and the BBIACC say dissenters have no case, that we should just accept a 25m pool because a reduction in pool space is insignificant. Some imply that a 50m pool is a selfish extravagance that our children and families don't deserve and can do without.
The future of swimming in Batemans Bay, much needed employment and tourism depends on having a facility for the whole community. The last thing Batemans Bay needs, after waiting so long for the Mackay Park Precinct Aquatic/Arts Centre, is a white elephant. Council’s confidence that all pool users will ‘adapt’ to a reduction in pool space by 33 percent may be short lived as experience in other towns shows. What if the community does not adapt?
Libraries and sporting ovals are important public assets provided by Council for the public good. Batemans Bays 50 metre pool is also an important public asset provided by Council for the public good. Economists define public good as a ‘product’ for use…from which no one is excluded. Downsizing Batemans Bays 50 metre pool to a 25 metre pool in the Mackay Park Precinct Aquatic/Arts Centre, will exclude pool users, will be a huge backward step for Batemans Bay, is shortsighted and lacking vision.
We cannot change what has already occurred, but we can change the present for the future of the community and the public good. We call on Mayor Innes who was elected by the community to serve the community, along with Councillors who were elected by the community to serve the community, to build an aquatic facility the community wants.
Again, out of all responders to the Survey Monkey 56% of people SUPPORT a year round indoor heated aquatic centre with a 25 metre pool and an outdoor 50 metre pool.
It is time for compromise to ensure the Aquatic Centre in the Mackay Park Precinct will be inclusive and contribute to social cohesion and well being of the whole community, the future of swimming, employment and tourism in Batemans Bay.
Fight for Batemans Bays 50m Pool