Shoalhaven News

Councillors at loggerheads over Bomaderry Pool

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Shoalhaven Assistant Deputy Mayor Mitchell Pakes has taken a swipe at Mayor Amanda Findley over labelling himself and Kiama MP Gareth Ward wreckers for their stance on the Bomaderry Pool.

Tensions have been heating up amid calls for the 50-metre outdoor pool to be saved with Council planning to scrap it and replace it with a 25-metre indoor one.

Councillor Pakes says the Mayor has overstepped the mark and he's also slammed Council's media department.

"99 percent of the time they do a fantastic job, but for this media release to come out this is completely against the grain, it's very negative and it's singling out councillors", Councillor Pakes said.

"It's basically saying if these Councillors don't pull their head in, we're going to lose money", he said.

"I think it's completely inappropriate and I'd like to see it withdrawn".

Meantime Councillor Findley says it's important for Council to get cracking on the project.

"The wreckers need to stay out of this and they should be happy that there's an extension of services there at a brand new facility that is proposed instead of a worn out facility that has a limited lifespan in the future", Councillor Findley said.

"There's no budget to fix it", she said.

A meeting on the future of the pool will take place from 7pm at the Bomaderry RSL next Wednesday, to be facilitated by Kiama MP Gareth Ward.

Story: Andrew Page

Photo credit: Shoalhaven Swim & Fitness

View the latest media release from Council below on the issue:

RESCISSION MOTION MAY JEOPARDISE FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

A Rescission Motion on the Shoalhaven Community and Recreation Precinct Status Report and Funding Requests will yet again be a topic of debate at the next Shoalhaven City Council Ordinary Meeting.

The rescission motion by Councillors Pakes, Guile and Proudfoot, puts further progression of works at Bomaderry “on-hold” as well as the detailed design “on-hold”.  It also delays the opportunity to seek large amounts of investment grant funding currently on offer.

“Attracting large grants to assist in funding this project is vital and funding rounds do have deadlines that Council is trying to meet to assist in funding the whole Precinct,” said Mayor Amanda Findley.

“A redesign of the masterplan to incorporate a 50-metre pool instead of 25-metre pool may impact funding and budget forecasts, meaning that some of the other enhancements and new facilities such as a crucial rehabilitation asset of a hydrotherapy pool will be lost.”

Less than 10% of users of the Bomaderry pool facility use the current aging 50-metre pool. The change to a 50-metre pool will cost the ratepayer and additional $7.3 million in building the pool and annually, $240,000.

The precinct is designed to operate as a community ‘Hub’ that meets today’s local and regional community needs and growing demands.  It will provide quality facilities in one location through an effective and sustainable operating platform.

Sports facilities have been designed to attract elite level sports and activities, and specific community services which integrates with sporting groups to deliver health, fitness, education, rehabilitation and wellbeing services, and offer a safe community meeting space complete with hospitality services.

Clr Findley continued, “Any changes to the facility mix could jeopardise the financial viability, the positive social benefits and overall concept.”