Carss Park pool feasibility study to be acted on as "matter of urgency"

Taking the plunge: Georges River Councill will complete as a "matter of urgency" the feasibility and suitability study, called for 16 months ago, for a regional aquatic centre in the Carss Park Sports Precinct.
Taking the plunge: Georges River Councill will complete as a "matter of urgency" the feasibility and suitability study, called for 16 months ago, for a regional aquatic centre in the Carss Park Sports Precinct.

Georges River Council has listened to the community and will prepare "as a matter of urgency" a site suitability and feasibility study for the construction of a new aquatic centre at Carss Park.

There were cheers for a packed public gallery on Monday night when Georges River Council voted to amend its Open Space Strategy to include the immediate preparation of the feasibility study which was first called for by deputy mayor Sam Elmir in April last year.

The Open Space Strategy is to look at a number of sites for a new aquatic centre in the local government area including Carss Park and Jubilee Stadium.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison reaffirmed his $5million pledge towards the refurbishment or rebuilding of the Carss Park pool, which was closed on July 23 - but only if this is at its current site.

Residents took this as a sign to act now.

"Why is the community having to fight to have Carss Park pool rebuilt in Carss Park when the council's resolution (in April 2018) states the council commences a site suitability and feasibility study in the 2018 financial year for a Georges River Aquatic facility in the Carss Park Sports Precinct. ?" resident Elise Borg said in the council's public forum.

"We are now in the 2019 financial year so where is the report from the council?" she said.

"Council should be taking immediate steps to complete this site suitability and feasibility study and establish how, not if, a new aquatic facility can be built in Carss Park, not delaying by burying it in report after report after report.

"The community wants council to build a pool at Carss Park. Anyone who hears the suggestion of building a Regional Aquatic Centre at Jubilee Stadium thinks it is a ludicrous idea."

Resident Indiana Belle Rubin-Tasic said, "We implore council to accept the existing offers from the Federal Government and other organisations for the funding of a public pool at the existing location rather than enter into a private partnership at another location."

Cr Elmir's original Notice of Motion submitted in April last year called for the preparation of a suit suitability and feasibility study in the 2018/19 financial year for the construction of a new Georges River Regional Aquatic Facility in the Carss Park Recreation and Sporting Precinct.

At public meeting held by Georges River Council after the pool was suddenly closed on July 23 resident Mark Hanna asked why the suitability and feasibility report called for by Cr Elmir 16 months ago specifically dealing with Carss Park has not been produced and has not come back to council for public comment.

At the meeting, mayor Kevin Greene said that the report had not been budgeted in the financial year it was asked.

He said the report is now being completed and is expected by the end of the year.

But following the Prime Minister's $5million pledge, Councillor Nick Katris added a number of amendments to the council's Open Space Strategy:

"Council officers are in the process of immediately preparing, as a matter of urgency, a Site Suitability and Feasibility Study for the construction of a new Georges River Regional Aquatic Facility in the Carss Park Recreation and Sporting Precinct.

"This is to include an engineer's geotechnical report and other necessary information in order to confirm the sites ability to accommodate an Aquatic Centre.

"The option of a premier contemporary aquatic facility may include an indoor/outdoor 50 metre pool, 25 metre heated program pool and associated uses (for example, cafe, crèche, gymnasium, health and wellbeing centre, water splash play area, car parking) be determined following extensive consultation with the community and previous and future possible users of the pool.

"The council will review an updated Georges River Development Contributions Plan and investigate possible funding sources from the Federal and State Governments and other Government Bodies, such as the NSW Sports Commission and Swimming NSW in order to fund this Carss Park Aquatic Centre Project."

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