Group fights to keep pool open
SOMETHING as simple as a cool swim on a hot summer's day will be out of reach for many Lismore families if the Lismore Lake Pool is permanently closed, say concerned local residents.
The pool, which is currently closed pending a decision on its future by Lismore City Council tomorrow, was the only free swimming option for many families said local woman, Nancy Pickford of East Lismore.
The grandmother to 11 children, nine of them young, said she would be at a loss this summer without access to the free community pool.
"We've all got bikes now and we ride out this way together after school. It would be wonderful to be able to take a swim.
"With nine grandchildren, it costs at least $20 to swim in town, depending on how many children I take," the retired aged-care worker said.
"You like to be able to give them a treat, but the costs add up.
"If I take them to the aquatic centre in Goonellabah they all want to go on the rides and that costs extra," she said.
Ms Pickford has joined with a group of residents who have formed the Lismore Lake Pool Action Group to save the pool from being mothballed after council staff recommended its permanent closure.
"I was here when this pool was opened," John Taylor of Lismore said.
"For 19 years I used to teach water-skiing over at the lake with the Lismore Ski School run by Gary Shipway," Mr Taylor said.
"This area used to have nine barbeques, a shuttlecock court and families would travel from as far away as Glen Innes and Armidale to make a day of it here.
"We've got this beautiful facility that's not being utilised
"This pool was created by the community, for the community, in 1973 by former mayor Bob Gates.
Lismore City Council's executive director for sustainable development, Brent McAlister has told The Northern Star there were serious safety concerns around the pool and that immediate remediation work would cost $350,000, however Lismore Lake Pool Group will present alternative figures to council tomorrow.
"It's the safest design and there has never been a drowning here," Mr Taylor said.
"We have spoken to the NSW Department of Recreation and we believe it would cost more to close the pool down than to fix it."
Should council save the Lismore Lake Pool?