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Funding backs reopening of MacDonnell Regional Council swimming pools

January 29, 2014

Central Australian communities can once again enjoy aquatic recreation with the MacDonnell Regional Council reopening three community pools in mid-January.

Swimming pools in the remote communities of Kintore, Santa Teresa and Areyonga were closed in April last year as a result of increased power and water prices introduced by the Northern Territory Government.

MacDonnell Regional Council Chief Executive Jeff Macleod, told the ABC that the cost of running the pools was draining resources from other shire services, stating "council was faced with the decision of whether to open the swimming pools or of having to reduce services or staff."

As a result, residents living near the Santa Teresa, Areyonga and Kintore pools had been left stranded without a functional facility for almost eight months during one of the region's hottest years on record where temperatures soared over 45 degrees on numerous occasions.

The reopening comes after a group of key stakeholders, including the Northern Territory and Federal Governments, provided the Council with $300,000 to facilitate the reopening of the pools.

MacLeod now explained that the funding would be used for both operational and general matters necessary for the pool to function, adding "the funding has come from a diverse group of stakeholders including the Federal Government, the NT Government, the Kintore Community Store, Papunya Tula Artists, and a contribution from the MacDonnell Regional Council.

"As a collective, we received a contribution of $300,000 from these stakeholders to fund and reopen community pools in Santa Teresa, Areyonga and Kintore until the end of March, this year.

"The NT Government provided a total of $100,000 through an infrastructure grant to assist with repairs around the grounds - especially at Santa Teresa and Areyonga - including pumps, chlorinators, additional shade shelters and park furniture.

"The rest of the funds covers other necessities such as wages, chemicals, processing, power, water and sewerage."

MacLeod said the reopening of the community pool would offer a number of benefits for locals.

"There is currently a massive push in regards to getting children back to school and so we are using these pools as a vehicle for doing so, especially through the 'No School, No Pool' initiative."

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