Fight to save pool not over

BETTER DAYS: Attendance was high at one of the highlights of the summer for Yarrunga pool, when the Rock Pool event was held on January 15. PHOTO: Marc Bongers

MAKING Yarrunga Pool a year-round attraction could create a more viable option for council, according to a group fighting to save the facility.

Jenny Hart, Save Yarrunga Pool Group spokesperson, said while the gates swung closed on the pool’s season on Monday, the group would continue its efforts to ensure the closure was not permanent.

Council administrators agreed late last year to close Yarrunga Pool after this season, and build a splash park in nearby Mitchell Avenue park.

They also plan to eventually replace the Olympic Pool in Swan Street with a 50m outdoor pool at the Wangaratta Indoor Sports and Aquatic Centre, as part of an aquatics plan valued at $13 million.

“We have always maintained that past closure, the group was not going to cease in lobbying council to change its mind and keep the pool open,” Ms Hart said.

And ideas such as using the pool site for out-of-season community activities will be among suggestions put forward when the group meets with Rural City of Wangaratta officers in coming weeks.

Ms Hart said the group was still keen to encourage council to obtain a second opinion on a technical assessment of the Brash Avenue pool, which found it would cost about $5 million to repair the facility.

“We believe there may be other, less costly options, and lots of other alternatives,” he said.

“For instance, what can you do with the site in the off-season?

“There are loads of things council could look at doing, including working with community groups like Bluearth and YMCA Open Door to conduct after-school activity programs.”

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