Mt Helena pool campaigners win reprieve after Mundaring decision

Community representative Joan Quinn and Shire President John Daw at Mt Helena Aquatic Centre. Picture: David Baylis.
Community representative Joan Quinn and Shire President John Daw at Mt Helena Aquatic Centre. Picture: David Baylis.

MT HELENA campaigners say the fate of their outdoor swimming pool could go either way after councillors agreed on Tuesday to withdraw from the current licence agreement.

The Shire of Mundaring will now ask to renegotiate the cost sharing and a termination clause with the education department for the shared use of Mt Helena Aquatic Centre.

Mt Helena R and R Association president Joan Quinn said residents had won a three-year reprieve for the pool at Eastern Hills Senior High School.

A report on the community impacts, costs and usage of the pool is due back to council in March 2021.

“If the education department say they can’t afford this pool once the Shire withdraws from the current licence, there is a lot of risk – it could go either way,” Mrs Quinn said.

Council voted last year to reduce the opening hours and cut public access from 22 to 9 weeks over the summer season.

Residents responded with a ‘save the pool’ petition attracting 1242 signatures.

Several campaigners spoke at Wednesday’s council meeting.

Magda Wright, of Sawyers Valley, said she had worked as a swimming manager for the education department.

“It (the pool) needs an injection of activity such as lessons for young and old as well as the swim club re-established,” she said.

Mt Helena Primary physical education teacher Walter Broun, of Chidlow, said the Shire should not opt out of “what is essentially a core business”.

“The increased user fees and limited access at pool is curtailing its use. What priority does our Shire place on assisting with improving the health and welfare of our young people?” he said.

“Each year, schools have used the aquatic centre for in-term swimming, faction and interschool carnivals.”

Mt Helena pool community representative Joan Quinn will attend a meeting about the pool on March 26 with representatives from the education department and the Shire.

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