The Mirror News

Councillors learn from study tour of shire

SOUTH Gippsland shire councillors and senior staff were out and about around the shire last Tuesday and Wednesday, inspecting the infrastructure and places where issues have arisen of late.

“They say one picture is worth a thousand words and these trips help us to better understand the issues and the factors involved, when we can correlate the sites with the many reports that we study in the course of our roles,” explained the mayor, Cr Jim Fawcett.

Travelling together in a small bus, the councillors visited the western end of the shire on Tuesday and the eastern end on Wednesday.

Their visit to Nyora, in the westernmost reaches of South Gippsland Shire, gave them an opportunity to see an area of potential growth which has been earmarked for subdivision for housing development.

They looked at Leongatha airfield and gained a new appreciation of its economic importance to the shire, in particular because of the 27 associated jobs.

A stop was made at Bald Hills Wind Farm, still very much a construction site, and at Tarwin Lower, Venus Bay – where overcrowding and car parking are big issues – and Sandy Point, to see the new community centre.

At Foster the councillors visited the health precinct and also the swimming pool, which was looking its sparkling best on such a fine day.

“We’re going to make sure it stays open. It’s such a lovely pool,” vowed Cr Jeanette Harding. She, however, is only one of nine councillors, all of whom are very aware that savings need to be made somewhere- and it may have to be by closing local swimming pools if they don’t earn their keep.

President of the Foster pool committee Lisa Barham-Lomax said that committee members were really pleased that the councillors made the site visit.

“The atmosphere there is fantastic, there are lots of different types of equipment available for children to borrow and play on, designated lanes for lap swimmers and our lovely grassed and shaded area for parents and carers who supervise their children. It is important for councillors to see the context of where the pool is located, too, within a sporting precinct with the golf, school soccer fields and cricket clubs neighbouring our facility.”

Lisa said that the pool committee would like to thank the people who have supported Foster Pool by coming along for a swim, bringing their grandchildren and their visitors to the pool.

“Unfortunately, our utilisation, mostly due to poor weather early in the season, is lower than last year. The number of pool visits so far for December and January [up to January 23] total 2663, compared to 3494 by the same time last year. Hopefully, in February and March we will have some more consistent weather and people will come for a dip in our beautiful cool pool.”

Lisa reminded community members to “use it or lose it” and to fill in the on-line survey about the pool. It will remain open until mid-February. “Go online to to say what you think about the Foster pool. And here’s hoping for fine weather and a big crowd at our Live Music at the Pool afternoon on February 15.”

The shire councillors concluded their tour of the shire with a visit to Toora, including that town’s covered swimming pool.


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