On February 19th, 2019 the Beagle published a media release from Eurobodalla Mayor, Liz Innes In the preamble to the release under the heading "Mayor preempts survey results and declares what shall be at Mackay Park" the Beagle stated: In a surprising Mayoral media release Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes appears to have already forecast the outcome of the hundreds of community survey returns made to the three Mackay Park concept plans by stating today in no uncertain terms. “We intend to deliver a centre with a 25 metre, 10 lane indoor pool, a warm water therapy pool, learn to swim pool, water slides and a splash pad for the kids. There’ll (There will) be a café and fitness areas, and on the arts side, we’ll (we will) have a 350-seat theatre, dance and rehearsal studios and community meeting rooms to complete the centre. The survey only closed on Sunday the 17th of February so the definitive terms used in the statement above will come as a surprise to the community and to most of her fellow councillors. To the approval of those seeking a 50m pool the Mayor states “The final design will demonstrate scope for a 50 metre pool in the future if there is need. I have promised the community that and I will deliver." The Mayor, Liz Innes, has requested that the following statement be published: There’s nothing surprising or pre-emptive in my media release welcoming Labor’s financial support for the aquatic and arts centre at Mackay Park. The facts are that Councillors voted in August 2017 to endorse the concept described in my media release. The community survey was to obtain feedback about those elements laid out in three different ways, with the final design to be a hybrid of the layouts incorporating community feedback. All of our communications during the community engagement have been clear on that, including my media release welcoming Fiona Phillip’s support for the facility.
I am not disregarding community input at all, I am reiterating what councillors agreed to and what we’ve clearly communicated to the community since August 2017. For those concerned about the 50-metre pool, I repeat my promise that the final design will allow scope for expansion if there is community need in the future. For now, the facility must be affordable and meet the needs of as many community members as possible. Like Fiona Phillips, I understand people’s feelings around losing the existing 50-metre pool, but I will not risk losing this wonderful new facility for our shire.