Save our pool: residents reject aquatic centre

Wentworthville swimming centre
Wentworthville swimming centre

The community is rallying behind local politicians to stop the proposed closure of Wentworthville Memorial Swimming Centre and Guildford swimming centre.

Last year Holroyd Council voted to provide in-principle support for the development of a centralised Aquatic Wellness Centre on the site of Merrylands Swim Centre.

The decision also means the closure of Wentworthville and Guildford swimming pools in order to open the single aquatic centre which would remain open year-round.

A report given to the council stated the proposed aquatic centre would cost $30 million with an estimated operating lifespan of 30 years.

The alternative plan is for the council to invest $20 million into refurbishing and modernising the three swim centres, with an estimated 15-year life span.

A council spokeswoman said the majority of the community who responded to the council's consultation in 2012 felt it was of more value to build a new Aquatic Wellness Centre than to bring the three pools up to basic compliance standards.

"It would cost around $12 million more to bring the three pools up to basic compliance standards and keep them running for around 15 years rather than build a state of the art Aquatic Wellness Centre which could thrive without ratepayer funding, enjoy a lifespan of around 50 years and be located around three kilometres away from the Wentworthville and Guildford pools," the council spokeswoman said.

But Greenway MP Michelle Rowland and Holroyd Councillor Lisa Lake are both campaigning to save Wentworthville pool.

More than 1500 people have signed Ms Rowland's "Save Wentworth Pool" petition.

She has also been campaigning via social media.

"These local pools are vital for individuals and groups, including schools, because they are affordable and easy to access," Ms Rowland said.

"These are services which should be available to the local community.

"Any decision which would close this pool would be symptomatic of an administration that knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing."

Cr Lake said she had received more than 800 signatures for her petition.

"I am yet to be convinced that a single aquatic centre development would be cheaper than upgrading the three existing pools," Cr Lake said.

"I think it is a high-risk strategy for council to put all its eggs in one basket.

"I believe Holroyd's pool facilities should be decentralised and accessible."

This story Save our pool: residents reject aquatic centre first appeared on Parramatta Sun.


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