The following is a copy from the daily Hansard of the Victorian Legislative Assembly in which Maree Edwards reports on the success of Chewton Pool Inc.
“PARLIAMENT OF VICTORIA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
DAILY HANSARD Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Tuesday, 6 December 2011 ASSEMBLY PROOF pages 21&22
Chewton: swimming pool Ms EDWARDS (Bendigo West) —
On Saturday, 3 December, I was pleased to officially reopen the refurbished Chewton pool. Almost two years ago the residents of Chewton were told without consultation that their outdoor pool would be closed and later demolished. The announcement provoked an unprecedented tsunami of opposition, which led to a consolidation of community action by residents and others to reverse that decision. The people of Chewton are not strangers to having to fight for their community assets, and the campaign was mounted to ensure the future of Chewton’s outdoor pool. This campaign was led by Rose Darling, who was a tireless vocal, passionate and determined force from the beginning. The fundraising efforts of the community were extraordinary. They included an ugly man competition and concert, a seafood banquet and an auction that raised $10 000 in just one week. With the support of over 60 businesses and sponsors, working bees, volunteer efforts of many and donations from other people the outdoor pool has been restored to its former glory. Local pools are not just about swimming; they are the heart and soul of a community such as Chewton during the summer period. The pool brings people together, and that is what keeps communities strong. What has come of this fight with the Shire of Mount Alexander is the recognition by many powers that be that Chewton is not a suburb of Castlemaine but is its own entity with its own uniqueness and is a community that is a force to be reckoned with. Without community assets such as local pools, small towns and communities will have nothing to attract people to live in them and will be subsumed by larger nearby towns. With hard-won support from the Department of Sustainability and Environment and the shire, and with the whole community behind the campaign, Chewton now has one of three community-operated outdoor pools — —” (inVictoria)
Pictured is Maree Edwards talking to Malcolm Archer at the opening of the Pool on December 3.