The future of the Cohuna pool remains confidential

By Ari Balle-Bowness

GANNAWARRA Shire Council hopes the Cohuna Swimming Pool will remain open for the remainder of the season following a major patch-up job on the ageing facility.

That's despite widespread concerns the pool is on its last leg.

On November 25, Gannawarra Shire Council released a statement which said they were assessing the condition of the pool following the discovery of exposed joint seals.

“The issue regarding the seals was discovered once the pool was full and the 2019/20 season had started,” mayor Lorraine Learmonth said.

“These rectification works are a temporary measure but will hopefully allow the pool to operate at maximum capacity for the summer.

“Further assessments will occur at the conclusion of the pool season.”

Plumbing problems aside, the pool’s future is a contentious issue for the council.

In September, Cr Sonia Wright sought to bring forward the development of an aquatic strategy for the shire’s five pools, following ongoing concerns with the deterioration of Cohuna’s.

Gannawarra Shire council dismissed the motion to bring forward the aquatic strategy from 2020/21 to 2019/20.

In response to the mayor’s latest statement Cr Wright said, “hopefully isn’t good enough”.

“What if it doesn’t last to the end of the season?

“I was told that on the first day of swimming club, kids were diving to the bottom of the pool and brining up chunks of concrete.

“Why this inspection wasn’t done in the winter I have no clue.”

Cr Wright said there will be a discussion about the pool at the next council meeting – which has already been declared confidential.

“It concerns me that we’re having confidential meetings, behind closed doors, again.”

“I think there is something a little more serious, but at this stage I have no evidence to support the claim.

“If it was just a great outcome then I’m sure the report would have been sent to all councillors and that would be that.”

Cr Wright said she was concerned Cohuna would be the first pool to go in the region.

“We haven’t saved any money for this,” she said.

“There have been talks of closing pools before, this just doesn’t add up well for Cohuna.

“They’ve managed to fix it, but it sounds temporary.”