Council cool on pool plan

The community voted overwhelmingly to pass the seven-part motion, moved by Lynley Papineau and Deane Pieters, at the end of the hour-and-a-half meeting.

Earlier, the 142-strong crowd had heard a presentation from Stirling’s building manager Graham Tattersall and recreation and leisure services manager Michael Quirk, detailing the progress since the last special electors’ meeting in 2011 and running through how the City’s costing of the two pool options were obtained.

Ms Papineau and Mr Pieters then presented their case for the 50m pool, heavily criticising City officers for the lack of transparency in the process.

Ms Papineau maintained the public had not been properly consulted and that the process was moving backwards.

Mr Pieters went as far as to label the City as ‘delusional’ in its handling of the process, and said the City, with zero debt and funds coming in from the Tamala Park development, could afford the project with funding from the State Government.

Speaking after the meeting, Cr Boothman said there was good reason for council to be cautious in its approach. ‘We are going to get significant returns for Tamala Park, but if we just go and chuck them in to Scarborough, our ratepayers are still going to get hit because council has no other way of getting the funds,’ he said.

‘We’ve had some good years with the mining, but funds from the State and the Federal Government are going to start drying up.

‘The new Federal Government will be strapped for cash. We need to get smarter about how we earn money so we don’t have to put the rates up 6 per cent every year.’

Cr Boothman went on to say it would be almost a month until the future direction of the pool was known, but said he did not anticipate the motion passing as it was put last Monday night.

‘It will come back to the next council meeting on July 9, then at the end of July, the previous report will come on to the agenda,’ he said. ‘So around that time, you’ll get a pretty good idea on what the council is thinking.