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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

The community have spoken: give us a 50m pool

The Beagle Editor, Wow there it is in black and white - the survey results that were not supposed to field responses about a bulldozed 50 m pool!

Above: Council refuses to see the 'elephant in the room' which is starting to become a floater in their pool project that is infusing itself and seeping out into all their proposed water works.

Over 250 comments are recorded & published ! Councillors you cannot join in the General Manager’s attempt to continue to whitewash/ cover up the facts/truth. She has allegedly deployed this strategy right from the start. You are all complicit & implicated but have time to put it right on Tuesday by speaking up & supporting the people. The General Manager had a preconceived plan with a known outcome, a plan allegedly hatched by her Chief Engineer well before Councillors were ever informed or involved in the Bowling Club /Aquatic Centre fiasco . Councillors your silence on the Mackay Park Project rings alarm bells because you have been dragged into the cover up . The cover up being that the demolition of the Batemans Bay 50 m pool & its replacement with a 25 m pool was never put to the people .

Above: One of the many 50m pool comments submitted in the survey

The politics & planned strategy was always to favour Narooma as the competitive swimming centre in Eurobodalla Shire. The stakeholders had no say. The statement by Councillor Rob Pollock in his reply to a motion at Extraordinary Council Meeting 29 th August 2017 sums up the bullies, “Batemans Bay will never get a 50 m pool... “ . The adopted Otium concept plan was voted in by 6 Councillors under the pretext of believing it was “a mud map “that would be changed after grant funds had been awarded from State & Federal sources ! It was understood & the public were told that it was still possible to include a 50 m pool . Where is the transparency, honesty & fairness This was allegedly a lie ! The first brief writer under the section responsible to the Chief Engineer was allegedly instructed to build a case to eliminate the BB Olympic pool in favour of Narooma’s . The inclusion of a 50 m pool was never on the table for Batemans Bay! Otium consultants were allegedly briefed to eliminate the 50 m pool at Batemans Bay in favour of the one at Narooma . "The Batemans Bay community were not consulted or advised over the removal of the Batemans Bay 50m pool. You simply and shamefully ripped it away" Grant Gidly Surfside Community consultation & support became a key condition for the government grants . The State grant application with NSW Sports was lost until Andrew Constance appeared with a bag full of “no strings attached “cash I.e. $26 million from the wires & poles billions . Purely a pork barrelling exercise. It worked! Ann Sudmalis was wooed in Canberra by senior ESC officers & the second pork barrelling $25 million was realised appropriately on April Fools Day . The $51 million is in the ESC account ready to be splashed on the beyond wonderful Mackay Park Aquatic/Arts Complex . The question has to be answered by each of our Councillors at Tuesday’s council meeting “Why have you voted to rob Batemans Bay of its 50m Olympic pool ? Please explain! “ We have the money . The survey confirms that the majority of people want it, need it & deserve it ! Too easy, just give it too us .

Above: From the Batemans Bay Swimming Club - One of the many 50m pool comments submitted in the survey

Councillors how can you take a decision not to include a 50 m pool without a “Plan D “ without an updated Business Case; without comparative construction costs; without comparative recurrent annual running costs with the option that includes an Olympic pool? Have you applied due diligence to the project ? Can you assure the community that the $51 million will be spent to provide facilities that maximise inclusivity ? Are there any individuals or groups who have been excluded? The Save Our 50 m pool group has been excluded from consultation sessions. The group was also used recently as the reason why ESC public servants were directed by the General Manager not to attend Batemans Bay Indoor Aquatic Centre Committee (BBIACC) public meetings to provide updates on the Mackay Park fiasco.

Above: One of the many 50m pool comments submitted in the survey This means that ESC has effectively shut down the democratic platform that’s provided an open flow of information regarding the biggest ESC Project ever. The Mackay Park Project Project, controlled by the General Manager, is now to be conducted in secret just with the BBIACC executive. (What has happened to the secret Sunset Committee & their bikkie & tea meetings? ) This is an outrageous directive to issue & to implement . NB this blatant gagging of the public is also reflected in The General Manager’s recent move to eliminate the live streaming of the Public Forum sessions at council meetings . Transparency & accountability of ESC business should be of paramount importance & protected; not shut down by power obsessed bullies.

Above: One of the many 50m pool comments submitted in the survey Allegedly $7 million of the $51 million has already been squandered . It’s time for Councillors to apply due diligence to this contentious Mackay Park Project & protect the public interests. Wednesday will be too late so Councillors it has to be done at the Council Meeting next Tuesday 30/04/19. There’s $51 million dollars at stake! It needs to be spent wisely as it’s a one off gift to our BB community. Thanks to Andrew & Ann. Name and address supplied

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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