Bendigo council approves pool closures

THE Long Gully and Golden Square pools will not reopen, with the state government-owned sites expected to be sold. 

City of Greater Bendigo councillors voted unanimously to close the facilities last night, noting the high cost of maintenance and lack of attendees. 

Rod Campbell said it was a tough decision, but the right one. 

“Council has to make these challenging decisions from time to time,” he said. 

“There’s been a big study done of our aquatic facilities and it’s been a big eye-opener. 

“The costs are enormous.” 

Cr Campbell said the pools were “decaying” and that the price of admission only paid for a small fraction of the cost of running the pools. 

Peter Cox said the council had to accept some of the responsibility for the problems. 

“There will be a number of angry people,” he said. 

Rod Fyffe said people wanted to swim laps when the pools were built, but that had changed to having a “water experience”. 

“It is a disappointment to put my hand up to support the closure of these pools,” he said. 

“It is a difficult decision for council. 

“With the savings of these two pools we can open other pools.” Elise Chapman said keeping both pools running would be too expensive.

“From a financial point of view, it’s just not viable,” she said. 

Council figures show the Golden Square pool had 1800 visits last season and Long Gully had 56. 

Council director community wellbeing Pauline Gordon said they would be replaced by better facilities.

“Keeping these pools limping along is a burden on our ratepayers,” she said.  

“The significant cost of operating and maintaining them will limit the city’s ability to offer other aquatic opportunities to our community.”

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