The proposed changes could mean more accessibility for all ages and abilities.
The proposed changes could mean more accessibility for all ages and abilities.

Council to consider making public pool a year-round facility

YEAR-ROUND swimming could be an option in Mullumbimby in the future.

Byron Shire Council has voted to conduct a feasibility study into converting the Petria Thomas Swimming Pool in Mullumbimby into a facility that can be accessed throughout the year, by adding solar heating and an access ramp to the existing 50m pool, a children’s splash pool and a rehabilitation or hydrotherapy pool.

The feasibility study, suggested by deputy mayor Sarah Ndiaye in a Notice of Motion that went before Thursday’s ordinary meeting, will also consider “various water treatment options”.

The study is to look at the “public health and social benefits” of such changes and to look at councils that have taken a similar plunge in the past, including in the Ballina Shire.

At the meeting, Cr Ndiaye told her colleagues of the profound impact lap swimming had on her life.

Byron Shire deputy mayor Sarah Ndiaye has called for a feasibility study into converting Mullumbimby’s pool to a year-round facility.
Byron Shire deputy mayor Sarah Ndiaye has called for a feasibility study into converting Mullumbimby’s pool to a year-round facility.

“It makes my world work,” she said.

“During winter I get a little bit grumpier.

“I think for a lot of people, their health and wellbeing and activity is focused on swimming.

“I’ve wanted for a long time for the pool to be year-round.”

She said it was important to consider also making the pool more accessible for all abilities and ages.

The council heard of one mother of a person with a disability whose closest option for a hydrotherapy pool was Murwillumbah.

“It would be great to see this facility as something that can support the community,” Cr Ndiaye said.

The Mullumbimby Memorial Centre Petria Thomas Pool is currently not open throughout the winter.
The Mullumbimby Memorial Centre Petria Thomas Pool is currently not open throughout the winter.

She said the Mullumbimby Residents’ Association had worked hard to champion the cause.

“People will say, why don’t we do this in Byron … (but) at this point in time there’s a move from people around Mullumbimby to make this happen here,” Cr Ndiaye said.

“It’ll take a long time … but it’s a project worth waiting for and putting some time and energy into.”

No councillors spoke against the motion, which was carried unanimously.

The council voted to allocate money to conduct the study in the draft 2020/21 budget.

The pool’s season currently runs from September 1 to April 30.


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