Bemboka Pool poor cousin to Sapphire Aquatic Centre?

BEGA Valley Shire Council’s upcoming maintenance of Pambula’s Sapphire Aquatic Centre has sparked an expected and angry response on its Facebook page.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s aquatic facilities coordinator, Le Webb, said the facility would be closed from April 12 to April 20 to make repairs to the multi-purpose and toddler pools, as well an overhaul of the circulatory and heat pumps.

Sapphire Aquatic Centre will also be receiving a paint job inside in the main pool hall and child-minding facilities.

“Much of the work will involve the centre’s plant so it won’t be visible to pool users when we reopen later in April,” said Ms Webb.

“However, people can be assured that the centre will be a safer and nicer place to swim than it is now.”

The press release quickly drew many negative comments on the council’s Facebook page, although it had nothing to do with effect of the centre’s closure on its regular users.

Instead, commenters drew negative comparisons to Bemboka Pool, another council-run facility which closed on January 20 for repairs and will not reopen until October 2014.

Comments questioned how Bega Valley Shire Council can find the funds and staff to make the Sapphire Aquatic Centre a “safer and nicer” environment within seven days, yet it will take almost 10 months to repair the Bemboka facility.

Tully Symonds asked “What about Bemboka?”

Bemboka Connect, a community news page for Bemboka township, said “And yet you close Bemboka's pool and do not even make any effort in maintaining it or even repairing it”.

“We do not have a beach at our front door.”

Rhonda Ayliffe of Cobargo questioned the money Bega Valley Shire Council is spending on the Sapphire Aquatic Centre in comparison to others.

“What’s this? Repairs for the Sapphire Coast Aquatic Centre? Again? Isn't the SCAC the newest pool in the shire? Why does it require yet MORE repairs? Can the council please release the figures of ratepayers monies spent to date on maintenance and repairs to the centre since the takeover if operations by council plus the figures on the general running costs for the SCAC alongside figures for all the other pools in the shire.”

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