Golden Square pool closure likely to proceed

CITY of Greater Bendigo councillors for Lockwood Ward Rod Fyffe and Barry Lyons say there is only a small chance a community group can save the Golden Square Swimming Pool.

Cr Fyffe attended a meeting along with Councillor Elise Chapman last night to discuss the pool’s proposed closure with concerned residents.

Cr Fyffe said reopening the pool was a “long shot” but that it was important to listen to residents’ concerns.

“I think it’s going to be a long shot given the fact there’s been poor patronage, so much work needs to be done on it and it’s so close to the new aquatic centre in Kangaroo Flat,” he said.

“But certainly I’ve got an open mind and I’m happy to listen to what people say and continue the discussions with them.”

Cr Lyons, who was unable to attend the meeting, also said the lack of patronage and the need for significant repairs had made it an unviable proposition.

“It’s sad to see something go...(but) we’ve been mending it for the past five years and it’s just got beyond us now.” 

It follows on from a meeting attended by nearly 30 residents and council manager of recreation, Patrick Jess, last week.

Mr Jess fielded questions from the public and explained the council’s aquatic strategy, which involved closing the Long Gully and Golden Square pools and constructing a $25 million aquatic centre in Kangaroo Flat.

Mr Hamilton said last night’s meeting was about presenting to the councillors why residents think the pool should be saved.

“It was about getting the councillors to hear our side of the story,” Mr Hamilton said.

“We are pretty happy that we got council’s side of the story last week when Patrick attended and this was more about the public point of view; how we feel about the pool closing.”

The group will also collate signatures for a petition to present to council.

Mr Hamilton said he was hoping to get more than 1500 signatures on the petition.

He said the group remained hopeful they could get the pool up and running for summer next year. “Hopefully we can get a lot of people to sign the petition and we’ll be able to get it open next summer.”

Cr Chapman was also contacted but unavailable for comment.

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