Members of the Chewton Pool Inc committee met with representatives of the Shire and DSE regional office to discuss the return of the Chewton Pool Crown Land Reserve to DSE, in order that Council can shed responsibility for the pool to the State Government. The aim is for Chewton Pool Inc to take over as the committee for management of the reserve and to operate the facility.
DSE is asking for a solid business plan that can demonstrate our capacity to manage the facility and for the Shire to provide some guarantee that it will demolish any property on the site if the community can/does not operate the facility. While these arrangements are conducted between the two bureaucracies, we still have an unopened facility and a lack of service for our ratepayers and their families.
Council refuses to provide an operating contract to supply the lifeguard and operating costs, even though Chewton Pool Inc has agreed to take on repairs to Lifesaving Vic’s standards, to pay for liability insurance and to manage the facility. A draft business plan has been prepared, with a planned allocation from the Council of $25,000 per annum for five years. This is less that Council has paid to open the pool in the past five years and half the operating costs at its other 4 pools.
Council has opened the Castlemaine swimming pool this season, which its own consultants deem as in poor condition – in fact, on reading the report, it could be considered worse than Chewton!
What is wrong with this picture?? Why is Castlemaine opening and not Chewton?
The community has raised enough money through some great community efforts and events to undertake all necessary repairs to the pool. The recent art, wine and business services auction raised $17,000 towards this task. Some fantastic donations were bid for in the fast and furious frenzy led by auctioneer DJ Hall, ably assisted by our Minister for Arts and Culture, Rod Quantock. Champagne provided by Sheer Drop Wines and music by Mood Swing set the scene at the Red Hill.
Ugly Men Premium Red and Mixed Six Wines are still available, although selling fast. You might also catch the 2011 Chewton Ugly Man calendars at local outlets, or by phoning Tony on 0407 839 308.
There are so many businesses and individuals who are proud supporters of Chewton Pool and we would like to thank every one of you for a mammoth effort. If only our Shire leaders would support their community to provide a healthy and safe place to meet this Summer in Chewton.
We will keep knocking on doors of decision-makers, inspired by the words of Shane Howard’s song “Clancey, Dooley and Don Mcleod”, famous for standing up for Aboriginal stockmen.
You can’t deny a man when the truth is where he stands
But don’t put flowers on his grave
Help him now
If you’re goin’ to start a job
Better be prepared to follow through….
Reprinted by kind permission of Chewton Chat