The good folks at WIN News Illawarra report:
Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes says there will be space set aside for an olympic-sized pool in the new design of the Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre in Batemans Bay.
The concession is aimed at community members who've expressed anger at the council's decision to replace an existing outdoor fifty metre pool with a twenty five metre facility. Announcing that "now the money is in the bank" Councillor Innes told WIN News Illawarra "I'm delighted to say we have recognised that and in the next plans that are going to come out to the community there is an absolute area that will be shown to them clearly where a 50m pool MIGHT be put in, into the future
VIDEO: WIN News Illawarra interview with Clr Liz Innes - copyright remains with WIN News. Linked under Fair Dealing for the purpose of news
WIN News Illawarra reporter, Jarred Constable, in his voice over offers "Mayor Innes says a future Council will decide whether to expand" with the Mayor saying to camera "both in the aquatic space and the arts and cultural as well.... there will be room to grow" Speaking to a 'very well informed member of the community' who wishes to remain anonymous (as they have current dealings with Council) the Beagle sought a response to the Ms Innes' TV appearance "The councillors use of the word MIGHT in the report and the intention to leave it to a future council to make a decision on putting in a 50m pool and expanding the cultural area to include a 500 seat theatre as was sought by funding rather than the 350 seat option now being offered has bought immediate community backlash." "From the start the decision to remove the 50m pool from the Batemans Bay community has been highly questionable. "The Mayor and even the Member for Bega have publicly stated that a 50m pool would cost $6.5m more to build and cost $300,000 extra a year to run however neither of them have been able to show any accuracy of these figures other than to make reference to a business case that has many holes in it. "Council cherry picks what they want from the Otium business case whilst ignoring other clear warnings in that business case that the centre is anticipated to run at an operational loss of and average of $790,000 per year with an annual depreciation of $1.2m per year totally a $2m loss to the community each year for the first 10 years. "But you never hear the Mayor quoting those figures". "The business case they quote from also carries a disclaimer that a full business case with costings be drawn once the final design is agreed to. "As yet there is no agreeance to the final design with the Concept D plans currently being prepared that should reflect the most recent community survey results. "It is not known if the community reflected in that survey whether they were insisting on a 50m pool as Council might well have not sought input on that question however there is a very clear voice building now that the community is beginning to realise the loss of its 50m pool and the loss of its community centre with a reduced theatre down from 500 to 350 seats that something is beginning to stink and that the "public consultation" council claims is little more than lip service." "Basically I am sick and tired of her talking out of turn and making announcements that have not gone through Council and her fellow councillors. Is this the way she consults. Via TV interviews where she tells us what her other councillors have agreed to before they are given a chance to vote". "I know of three councillors who MIGHT just ask; "why are we having a 10m pool, a 25m pool and building a 50m pool in the future if it now appears that there is room for all three. Why not save some money, keep the community happy, build a 50m pool and get accurate figures on the table before WE make a decision".