Back in September 2019 Sue and Gary Kelly, members of The Bay Push suggested a feasibility study be done, leading to the construction of the Corrigans Cove Sea Pool. The couple envision a budget of $1 million for a 50-to-100m-wide pool, extending seaward sufficiently to allow all-year access, with internal pontoons. Commenting at the time the ex-mayor said a sea pool would be a "fantastic asset to the community". In what can only be described as "absolutely, disgustingly, reprehensible, manipulation" the Council voted passed an amendment in March 2018 that was contained in a last minute Mayoral Report to investigate the installation of a sea pool, after a 25-metre pool was recommended by a consultant over a 50-metre pool, whilst concurrently adopting a Eurobodalla Aquatic Strategy, written by the same consultant, that no councillor had read and no member of the public knew of.
The Ocean pool item, voted on by Councillors read as: 10. Investigate the potential for the provision of long distance swimming facilities in the ocean at an appropriate location in the Batemans Bay area. The next we heard was the response "at this point in time we've got a lot on our plate" so could not promise a speedy decision. We want to be a little bit cautious." In May 2018 the ex-mayor again insisted that an ocean pool, anywhere from Batemans Bay to Broulee, would compensate for the loss of Batemans Bays 50m pool for SLSC's to do the necessary endurance training for ocean rescues. That was four years ago. The ocean pool was a red herring designed to cover the building animosity over the removal of the Bay's 50m pool and replacing it with a 25m pool. Council had sought a NSW Sports Grant for the project that was knocked back because the 25m pool was considered a leisure pool rather than a Sporting facility. Council did its utmost to block a GIPA request for the application it made to NSW Sport. In the end, after months of taking it to the next level Council were required to release the application that revealed the letters of support for the complex came from authors who were not advised they would be losing a 50m pool. Once this became common knowledge many of those letter writers withdrew their support. The GIPA request also revealed that Council had provided a consultant's "thumbnail dipped in tar" business case that clearly advised that it should not be considered for such a submission. But Council motored ahead, and instead, were granted $26 million by the NSW Government that included $8m by way of a very controversial pork barrelled, electioneering gift announced months before the next round of Arts grants had opened by Andrew Constance, Gladys Berejiklian on a visit to Batemans Bay within weeks of NSW Sports denying the grant application. The new 25 m facility will be opening later this month with a ribbon cutting to be attended by politicians, councillors and special guests. Given the controversy around the project, from the very start, it will be interesting to see who shows up. Andrew Constance, Gladys Berejiklian, Don Harwin, John Barillaro, Lindsay Brown, Liz Innes. No doubt, whoever shows up, there will be others who will arrive to ask "Where is our 50m pool?, "What happened to the sea pool" and "Why is there such a strong smell of pork and cow dung still lingering in the air?"
Above: one of the many sea pools along the South Coast Image: Wollongong, NSW, Australia "Absolutely iconic walk along the #BlueMile and you will find views of the Continental Pools, Flagstaff Point Lighthouse, Breakwater Lighthouse & the Harbour."