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Drought sees Tamworth set to have just one pool operating through summer

Drought sees Tamworth set to have just one pool operating through summer
October 31, 2019

Tamworth Regional Council has reported a strong spirit of working together during discussions with local swimming organisations to plan for a summer with only one public pool open in the drought affected northern NSW town.

Council acting Manager Sports and Recreation, Peter Watling, recently advised of strong co-operation among pool user groups to create a schedule to accommodate all swimmers’ needs at one location.

Watling explained "since Councillors decided in August that Scully Pool would open for the new season, we have been talking with all user groups to come up with a plan to ensure they have the pool access they need while also meeting the needs of the general community.

“It has been a challenge to program the activities of two Tamworth pools into one but there has been a great willingness to compromise shown by our local aquatic clubs.

“By working together to put achievable options to Council they have ensured we could accommodate general community needs at one pool.”

In August, Tamworth Region Councillors decided to temporarily amend its Drought Management Plan to allow the opening of Scully Pool and Kootingal Memorial Swimming Pool at Level 5 Water Restrictions on the condition that pool water is sourced from a non-potable supply. They also agreed to review the temporary arrangement when water level at Chaffey Dam approaches 15% capacity.

With the new swimming season starting on Monday 14th October, Watling noted that ongoing cooperation from all pool users is needed to make the changes work, adding "Council has listened to the community’s request to open Scully Pool and Kootingal Pool, our aquatics clubs have compromised with combined training sessions and club nights.

“And now Council is seeking the community’s support and patience to work with us to make the single Tamworth pool arrangement work for everyone.” 

Scully Pool is now open from 5.30am to 6pm daily while Kootingal Pool is operating  from noon to 6pm daily. Both pools will also remain open until 7pm in January, as is the usual practice.

Council pools at Barraba and Nundle, which opened on 15th October, both operate from Tuesday to Sunday. 

The opening of Manilla Memorial Swimming Pool has been postponed due to some maintenance works taking longer than planned.

Explaining this delay, Watling concluded "major works need to be carried out to reconstruct a section of one pool wall plus some essential repairs to reduce water leakage.

“The pool also needed to be completely repainted and this can only take place after the other works are finished."

Image of Scully Pool courtesy of Tamworth Regional Council.

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25th September 2019 - Drought affected NSW councils pledge to keep aquatic centres open

28th August 2019 - Tamworth Regional Council votes to open two seasonal pools despite high level drought restrictions

19th August 2019 - Zelbrite Filter Media technology reduces aquatic centres’ water use during filtration

7th March 2019 - Moree Plains Shire Council concerns over drought impact on established trees

6th February 2019 - Climate change set to impact Australia’s summer sporting calendar

17th January 2019 - Tamworth Regional Council to develop $60 million aquatic centre

18th May 2017 - Tamworth Council brings forward new aquatic centre commitment

7th April 2016 - Victorian Government moves to drought proof community sport and recreation

4th May 2015 - Outdoor seasonal pools under ongoing threats

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