Fight for pool isn’t over

THE Mount Druitt Pool saga will heat up again next week when Blacktown councillors

debate its closure for the 10th time since May.

Councillors will discuss a new report called for by independent Russ Dickens in October.

The report examines reasons why the pool was closed.

They include its close proximity to other council-run and commercial operators, high operational costs, the fact it’s a weather dependent facility, its unlikely financial viability

and the site’s redevelopment potential.

The report says a consultant recently started work on the planning proposal to determine the intended zoning of the site.

Councillor Stephen Bali expressed concerns about the latest report.

‘‘A lot of questions remained answered,’’ he said.

‘‘The community expects a proper explanation as to why the pool should stay closed.

‘‘Councillors heard a fortnight ago the pool was unable to open until after the school holidays

if it was to reopen this summer.’’

Councillor Jacqueline Donaldson revealed figures from the council’s recommissioning plan that it would take 10 weeks and cost $138,000 to reopen the pool.

It would cost $40,000 alone to reinstate the playground and an additional $39,000 to repair the amenities block.

Other costs include staffing, pool cleaning and repairs, work to pool grounds and reestablishing

computer and phone connections.

Residents haven’t given up the fight and made the closure a major talking point at a community forum held last night.

‘‘Emerton pool will be overcrowded this summer and the outdoor area is nowhere as nice or practical for a family day out as Mt Druitt pool,’’ Sandra McMaster said.

‘‘We should be focusing on healthy outdoor exercise and affordable outings for our children and our community.’’

Regardless of what happens at the final council meeting of the year, the fight is far from over.

Councillor Bali said the chances of the pool reopening this summer were slim but he still

held out hope that it would be reopened by next summer.

‘‘No stone will be left unturned,’’ he vowed

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