MEMBER for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards has suggested a decision on the Golden Square Pool's fate be deferred until a new council is elected.
The current council is set to decide the direction of the Golden Square Recreation Reserve's master plan at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.
Councillors have been recommended a vision that would see the Golden Square Pool - part of the broader reserve - decommissioned at the end of the 2022/23 season.
In a Letter to the Editor, Ms Edwards urged councillors to use their vote to retain the pool - a public facility she considered "too important to lose".
"Preferably, any decision on the recommendation should be deferred until after the council election in October," she wrote.
Asked why she would prefer the decision be further delayed, after 10 years of uncertainty, Ms Edwards raised concerns about opportunities to hold councillors to account so late in their terms.
"The current crop of councillors might not be running again... might not be elected again," she said.
"They're not the ones going to be held accountable for making the decision."
She also believed "fresh eyes" might be beneficial in making the decision.
The option recommended to councillors was not the one preferred by more than 1500 survey respondents - something Ms Edwards was concerned by.
Respondents were overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the pool.
Ms Edwards wanted each council candidate's stance to be key to the election campaign, effectively making the October vote one on the pool's future.
"Given it's taken this long to get to this position... it's not going to make a huge amount of difference if they wait a bit longer," she said.
Ms Edwards believed the decision should be delayed, even if the current crop of councillors intended to vote for the pool to remain.
"This one is going to impact on a lot of people," she said, asked what her concerns about accountability might mean for any other decision the council made late in its term.
On this topic: Your say | Golden Square pool's future debated
The Golden Square Cricket Club - another of the user groups affected by the master plan - was concerned a further delay would just create more uncertainty.
Previous experience led club president Ian Kellett to fear it might be years, not months, before a new council was in a position to make a decision.
"This council has more experience with this issue," he said.
He still believed there was no need for any particular user group to lose out, and urged councillors not to make a political decision.
"They can't just keep deferring it," Mr Kellett said.
"They're there to make decisions. They need to make them."
The Golden Square Pool Committee said it just wanted the right decision to be made, with all the relevant information.
It believed the right decision was one that retained the pool.
All user groups were given the opportunity to comment, as was the Bendigo council.
Several councillors at the June meeting raised concerns about the way the matter had been handled.
Read the Letter to the Editor in full
I write to urge our City of Greater Bendigo Councillors to keep the Golden Square Pool, and to vote against the recommendation that is going before Council next Wednesday that would see the pool closed and permanently removed.
Preferably, any decision on the recommendation should be deferred until after the Council election in October.
Golden Square Pool is an important part of the Golden Square community and too important to lose.
It is disappointing that after the results generated from the Master Plan survey showed overwhelming support for the pool to remain, a recommendation has been made on an option that the community did not overwhelmingly support. This is short-sighted and ignores the community's clear preference.
Based on data also listed in Wednesday's council agenda, Golden Square Pool is the least council subsidised pool in Greater Bendigo per visit, at $2.69.
Volunteers have done an extraordinary job creating a space for the entire community, which offers something innovative and different. This pool creates community and connects people. This is important now more than ever.
I also encourage any candidates running in the upcoming Council elections to publicly state their position on the future of Golden Square Pool, so the community has full understanding when casting their vote.
I remember attending the first public meetings to save the pool from closure, and have always been impressed with the work of the many volunteers and the support of residents.
We cannot see this important public facility disappear.
Maree Edwards MP
State Member for Bendigo West