Kogarah War Memorial Pool at Carss Park closed permanently

Closed: The Kogarah War Memorial Pool will be closed permanently, Georges River Council announced today.
Closed: The Kogarah War Memorial Pool will be closed permanently, Georges River Council announced today.

Georges River Council today announced the closure of the Kogarah War Memorial Pool.

Mayor Kevin Greene said the council had a moral obligation to close the pool after an old pipe was found to be leaking pool water into Kogarah Bay.

The situation was irrepairable, he said.

Residents collected more than 10,000 signatures to keep the pool open which they presented to Georges River Council in March this year.

And Prime Minister Scott Morrison committed $5 million towards the pool upgrade, during the recent Federal election campaign.

Recently, the pool was closed for winter maintenance, however following a direction from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in relation to urgent environmental concerns, the council has taken immediate action to close the pool to prevent further pollution into the Georges River.

The pool will not reopen on August 4, 2019 as previously advised.

"The council has worked with the NSW EPA, an independent statutory authority, to identify the source of polluted water," Georges River Council announced in a statement today.

"It is now confirmed that pollution of the river is occurring as a direct result of leaks due to the pool's age, deteriorated condition and ground subsidence.

'To prevent any further detrimental effect to our local waterways the pools will immediately be drained of water.

"A public information session on the action that the Council has taken will be held on

Monday 29 July 2019 at Georges River Civic Centre, Dragon Room, Corner

MacMahon and Dora Streets, Hurstville from 7.00pm-8.00pm.

"All community members are welcome to attend."

To register your attendance to this information session visit

www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au or for more information contact Council on 9330

6400.

More to come:

Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene has said the council had a moral obligation to close the pool after old pipes were found to be leaking water from the pool into Kogarah Bay and polluting local waterways.

"The simple fact is we have been in contact with the EPA because there was a problem found with an overflow pipe," Councillor Greene said.

"This overflow was found while carrying out foreshore restoration work. It appears it was a pipe put in place when the pool was originally built," he said.

"We reported it to the EPA and were in the process of getting it fixed. Yesterday, we found another pipe that was taking groundwater from around the pool. It was also taking water from the pool.

"The council has a moral and legal obligation of not polluting the waterways of Kogarah Bay.

"We are undertaking a number of studies of where we could go into the future with the pool.

"It had been our sincere hope to keep the pool going until we got the results of those studies.

"But it appears from the water leaking from the pool that it is irrepairable. There is no short-term solution to fix this problem.

"We cannot fix this problem therefore we have to take the morally right decision to close the pool."

Councillor Greene said there are a number of studies concerning the pool coming to council this year.

The aquatic engineer's report is to come to the council next month. The Aquatic Study on all Georges River Council pools is due later this year.

And the Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy is due next month.

"Our intention has always been to look at having three pools into the future. The study is about finding out our options, costs and the best way to go forward," Councillor Greene said.

"It is disappointing that we have to close the pool. We have been doing our best to keep the pool open as long as possible but we can not have a situation where we are polluting the waterways.

"But we will still look at the results of the studies we have in place to look at ways of going forward. We are committed to having three pools."

Last March, Carss Park residents presented last night's meeting of Georges River Council with a 10,700 signature petition calling to keep the Kogarah War Memorial Pool open.

The gallery was packed with Carss Park residents, some wearing swimming goggles around their neck to show their support for the pool.

Councillors took note and unanimously supported ongoing funding to keep the pool operating for the 2019-20 swimming season, supporting a Notice of Motion by Cr Kathryn Landsberry.

As recently as last week the council issued a statement saying the pool would reopen on August 4 after its regular winter maintenance works.

UPDATE:

Natalie Mort of the Save Carss Park Pool Movement, said residents were "absolutely devastated" to hear the news that Georges River Council has announced the closure of Carss Park Pool.

"Over 10,000 local residents had signed a petition to keep the pool open, representations and statements made to Council by a number of people including former Olympian Michelle Ford who trained at the pool under the legendary coach Dick Caine, who managed the pool for over 50 years, - so we are absolutely devastated right now," she said.

"Carss Park Pool has serviced hundreds of thousands of kids and adults since 1965 and that now is to be brushed aside by Council despite a recent commitment by them to keep the pool open for the 2019/20 year while renovation evaluations were being made.

"On top of this, a $5 million commitment was made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the recent Federal election, so we're bemused as to why funds aren't allocated to address any environmental concerns that Council may have with the pool."

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