Byron Council is set to take the first tentative step toward keeping the Shire’s only Olympic pool – Petria Thomas pool in Mullumbimby – open all year round.
In a motion before this week’s full council meeting, Greens Councillor Sarah Ndiaye has called for a feasibility study into measures that would allow the pool to remain open throughout Autumn and Winter, including the installation of solar heating.
The motion also includes exploring the possible introduction of a disability access ramp, a ‘splash down’ children’s play pool and a rehabilitation pool.
‘The Shire has long needed a year round place to swim laps for their [sic] physical and mental health and more appropriate rehabilitation facilities for people recovering from injury or just maintaining health aging practices,’ Cr Ndiaye said in her notice of motion to the meeting.
‘While a fully equipped hydrotherapy pool may not be possible, a warm water pool for general aquatic fitness programs and basic level aquatic therapy would be a highly appreciated addition to our region.
‘The Open Space and Recreation Needs Study 2018 identified that “our community wants recreation, sports and aquatic facilities to meet the Shire’s needs” and while their may be some funding challenges to overcome, this pool has a long history of being able to garner community support to make things happen.’
The move follows a long-running campaign by the Mullumbimby Resident’s Association for such improvements to be made.
The association hopes that Council will apply for government grants to fund the considerable cost of the upgrading plans.
In addition to the cost of the plan, another potential hurdle to the upgrade is the considerable amount of water required to fill and maintain two additional pools.
The water would most likely have to be sourced from Mullumbimby’s main water supply, which came under intense during the recent drought forcing the introduction of level 4 water restrictions.