It has taken a couple of days for the unanimous decision by the City Of Greater Bendigo Councillors to give the Golden Square Pool a reprieve for a further 2 years to sink in.
The previous week and a half, knowing that a decision would be made last Wednesday, is a testament to the tenacity and fighting spirit of the Golden Square community.
The galvinisation of support that was displayed was heart warming and has renewed my faith in people expressing what truly matters to them. Freedom of speech and democracy is alive and well in Bendigo and that’s a great thing.
I would like to thank all those who wrote emails and letters to councillors, their politicians and the City of Greater Bendigo and the editors of both our local papers.
There were also phone calls to councillors, texts and a huge social media response where the Golden Square Pool Facebook page was running hot.
I thank the myriad of individuals who contacted me personally and other local community groups who offered their support. For me it has been a very humbling process that such a diversity of people have taken the time and effort to respond to this issue. I would also like to thank all the media outlets in Bendigo, print, radio and TV, for their interest in and reporting of this campaign that goes to the core of community. I and the pool have been treated in the most respectful and wonderful way.
Although the decision made on Wednesday night offers a 2 year window it continues to leave us having to prove our viability and the future of our pool remains uncertain.
Let’s hope we will not just be ”treading water” and this decision will allow us to address some items on the pools wish list such as a new chemical room, family/disability toilet and redesigning the pool edges, all of which will require time and money but we are prepared to do this.
The decision by the COGB to revisit its 2010 Aquatic Services Strategy, and now the Mayor stating the master plan for recreational facilities in Golden square will also be developed, is welcomed but with a hint of trepidation.
The review of these strategies will absolutely require a transparent and truly community consultative process. The Golden Square Pool Committee of Management looks forward to being one of the active participants in this consultation process.
We have had a very strong and positive working relationship with the Manager of Active and Healthy Communities and his team and this will continue over the next 2 years.
I believe that for the Golden Square Community and the Golden Square Pool Committee of Management will continue to be strong in its cohesiveness and strategic planning to enable our wonderful supporters to continue to experience what this great pool offers to its patrons.
A simple but heart felt thank you to you all.
Bernadette Wright, President. Golden Square Pool Committee of Management
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