Chewton pool gets a reprieve

CHEWTON residents are celebrating a minor victory after Mount Alexander Shire council decided to postpone the demolition of the Chewton swimming pool until next year.The council decided on Tuesday night to negotiate with the Department of Sustainability and Environment for full committee of management responsibility for the pool to be transferred to the Chewton community.It also wants responsibility for the remainder of Chewton Soldiers Memorial Park to stay with the council.Save Chewton Pool spokeswoman Rose Darling said the council’s decision had taken the pressure off the community and would give it time to work out more options.“It’s a terrific foot in the door,” she said.“Closing the pool was collateral damage in the rush to get an aquatic centre.“Small communities need to keep their assets, because if they are eroded our sense of place and what we can offer new families is taken away.“I think the council may have underestimated the value this town puts on its assets.’’Mount Alexander Shire mayor Janet Cropley said the council made the decision to allow more options to be explored.“The council is mindful of its responsibility to provide services and infrastructure that meets the needs of the whole community. “The council chose not to continue to fund the Chewton pool following advice that suggests it would be financially unviable due to its condition; therefore, a transition of management may be a good outcome.” In February the Mount Alexander Shire Indoor Aquatic Centre Feasibility Study was released and feedback from the community was sought.Editorial – Page 10