COMMUNITIES interested in the future of public pools have an opportunity in the next three weeks to view and comment on the draft of the revised South Gippsland Aquatic Strategy, which is on display at nine locations around the shire and on the South Gippsland Shire Council website.
The revised strategy covers the next five years. Significantly, it includes the potential for community ownership of pools. This was an especially popular suggestion in Council’s recent online community consultation process.
Coastal-Promontory ward councillor Mohya Davies noted that the Foster community, in particular, has been looking seriously at community management of the local pool, but she warned that this option was not without its challenges and required careful consideration.
Cr Lorraine Brunt added: “Community ownership is one thing, but be very very careful. There was a reason why pools were given to Council to run in the first place. Council doesn’t want to see them back if the community takes them.”
Cr Don Hill expressed the view that Council does not want to go on supporting outdoor pools, but only wants to support Leongatha SPLASH.
“The pools are set up to fail in the draft budget,” he said.
Members of the public will be able to make their views known through written submissions on the draft strategy, which will remain on public exhibition until 5pm on Friday 17 April, at which time all written submissions must be in hand at Council’s main office.
Council will be briefed on the submissions received in early May and a final revised strategy will be presented to Council before the end of June
“This draft strategy provides a good opportunity for Council and the community to work together to provide aquatic facilities that are both socially responsible and financially sustainable,” said Mrs Jan Martin, Director of Community Services. “Pools are an expensive service that is highly valued by the community, so community involvement in considering how we provide the aquatic services in the future is vital.”
The draft strategy can be viewed at www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au, Council, local libraries, Foster, Leongatha and Korumburra Community Houses, Venus Bay Community Centre and Tarwin Lower Community Health Centre.
Submissions should be addressed to Council at Private Bag 4, Leongatha 3953; [email protected], or delivered to Reception at 9 Smith Street, Leongatha.
For further information regarding the strategy, please call Ian Murphy, Recreation Coordinator, on 5662 9200.