Aquatic Centre - Jake and Kira Ward
Aquatic Centre - Jake and Kira Ward LEEROY TODD

Why new govt swimming program will cause problems in Gympie

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

IT'S not before time, that the State Government's making swimming and water safety compulsory for primary school kids.

It's a no-brainer in a place like Queensland where even away from the coast rivers can run wide and wild.

Another no-brainer, which our council failed, is when building a new aquatic centre you cater for the future needs of a diverse population.

Aerial view of the Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre (ARC) with solar panels visible from the roofs.
Aerial view of the Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre (ARC) with solar panels visible from the roofs. Contributed

The government's compulsory program hasn't started yet but twice this week, without any notice to the general public so we can fit in around it, we, the public, have been reduced to not very much pool at all while a school takes over the rest doing their own swimming lessons.

Many of us who use the pool in attempts to rectify less than optimal bodies travel a fair way to do so. We already have to juggle between swimming squads, water aerobics classes and those whose work commitments give them limited opportunities to do their thing.

Aerial view of the Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre (ARC) with solar panels visible from the roofs.
Aerial view of the Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre (ARC) with solar panels visible from the roofs. Contributed

We're willing to do so but only 16 months into its expected life of 50 years, the indoor pool at the ridiculously expensive aquatic centre is already failing to provide facilities enough to cater for the needs of many.

The look on some faces when they enter and see what space isn't available is particularly sad bearing in mind the very recent build of what's in many ways a very substandard facility.

The standard for indoor pools today is at least two pools, and a lot less 'fluff', but not in Gympie.

Gympie Aquatic centre almost ready for opening.
Gympie Aquatic Centre Renee Albrecht

Sadly it's no orphan in what our council does, the problem seemingly being setting out to impress rather than taking the time to plan, anything, with a longer or co-ordinated view.

If the government's swimming program is to be applied using the Gympie indoor pool it's going to need a lot better management that is currently displayed, and in my opinion council should stop spending on anything major until we get a chance to elect some with an ability for a lot deeper thought and broader vision.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket