Save Golden Square Pool group eyes VCAT

GOLDEN Square residents hope to take their fight over their pool’s closure to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. 

But City of Greater Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann said he believed VCAT couldn’t hear such appeals. 

Bendigo councillors narrowly voted to close and demolish the pool on Wednesday night after a heated debate and protest outside the Town Hall. 

Save Our Golden Square Pool member Ken Hamilton said he was “very disappointed” by the decision and thought the group had a good case against the council. 

“We’re very confident,” he said. “It will basically centre around council’s reasons to close the pool and the approach the council’s taken. I think due process hasn’t been adhered to during the whole process.”

Mr Hamilton said he had been keen to get things moving with the appeal and had called several residents seeking support. 

Mr Hamilton said some of the information provided to the council had come from a company with a conflict of interest and said he would lodge the necessary documents with VCAT as soon as possible. 

Save Our Golden Square Pool member Linda Howell said there was still a chance the pool could re-open but didn’t want to elaborate. 

“We’re still pushing forwards,” she said. “Of course we think they’ve made the wrong decision.”

But Mr Niemann said he believed the matter fell outside the powers of VCAT. 

“This type of decision is clearly within council’s jurisdiction and relates to a council asset, so I do not believe the group will have the grounds to lodge an appeal to VCAT,” he said.

The Bendigo Advertiser contacted VCAT to see if the tribunal had jurisdiction to hear the appeal and an answer is expected today.

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