Today was the D-Day for the outcome of the Eagleby Aquatic Centre as the draft plan went to vote at the City Lifestyle Committee meeting.

After many questions and concerns by councillors, the vote for Stage 1 of the plan was taken with 10 councillors voting yes and three abstaining from the vote.

Cr Hall, Cr Willcocks, Cr Murphy, Cr Raven, Cr Bannan, Cr Koranski, Cr Frazer, Cr Russell, Cr Stemp and Cr Lane all voted for Stage 1.

Abstaining from the vote was Cr Bradley, Mayor Power and Cr Heremaia.

After the introduction of the report, Mayor Power started off with concern over the figures that were presented and the revenue that was estimated. He also had concern that after the Beenleigh pool was upgraded that Eagleby would lose more money as residents sort a better facility to use.

Sport, Leisure and Facilities Manager Ben O’Bree said the estimation was built on data the council officers had and due to no data being available for the future Beenleigh upgrade, it was not calculated into the figures.

Mayor Power went on to question the increased costs once the new Beenleigh pool is completed.

“I am aware what pools don’t make money in this city and that’s expected, we are providing a service like libraries, but there will be a need to increase lifeguards and that sort of stuff, so what would be the operational guesstimate of putting on that extra pool at Beenleigh,” questioned Mayor Power.

Mr O’Bree advised that with the increase from 33-metres to 50-metres there will be extra costs but as it is not a new pool and the costs would be approximately $200,000 which has been planned.  

“I don’t accept this report and I understand that Cr Murphy has got a job to do and she is doing a very good job.

“You will be back here again next year or the year after, you’re going to go back on that decision, then you’ll have to make that decision again. I say stay where you are now and just accept the report.”

Cr Lisa Bradley said that she has been elected for 15 years and has sat through many of these meetings.

“For 15 years I can tell you that pool (Eagleby pool) has been earmarked for closure and I understand the workplace health and safety incident triggered that, but it has been earmarked for closure for a very long time,” said Cr Bradley.

“Is there a need for another pool in this area or a waterplay or whatever in the future. Is there a need?” asked Cr Bradley to the parks.

The Community Infrastructure Strategy identifies the catchment size the pools service and based on the demographic the southern area is one pool more than deemed needed. Despite that, during peak times the Bethania pool has been near capacity in the months the Eagleby pool has been closed.

Cr Murphy, who has been working to ensure the feedback from residents has been heard, said that this has been an extremely important matter within division 12 and nobody ever wanted to have a workplace safety incident at Eagleby pool and that is the whole and sole reason the pool was shut down.

“Community safety is vitally important and I want to state that because there is a lot of misinformation out there,” said Cr Murphy.

“Thank you to the staff who worked on this report and making it public today. I just want to announce that out to the community that the last reports were confidential and today the council officers have made this public so the community can hear what is happening.

“A lot of work has gone into this report, and we have thought about right now and into the future. First and foremost is the safety of the community. My community have provided feedback though consultation on the Have Your Say, we have had outside consulting with visioning sessions, council officers went into shopping centres and took feedback as well and we have received to date to my knowledge only one petition from the community.

“From this we have worked on two master plans, one for right now and the reopening of the beach entry pool, and a vision for in the future so we have got best bang for buck.

“As soon as this is passed, if it passed, we are ready to start work and I envisage that this will be open again for this coming season. “I know also what the community to get behind this. They say they want this facility, so please support it.”

“I am thrilled to announce that after months of meetings and hard work with council officers, we have successfully secured the reopening of the Eagleby Beach entry pool.

“Today, I am proud to say that my fellow Councillors have shown their support and voted in favour of my motion that will keep the beach entry pool open. The decision will still need to be ratified in Council.

“Of course, while I welcome discussion and feedback from the community, please be mindful of misinformation that may be perpetuated on public commentary pages. I want to be crystal clear; the pool was closed throughout the 2022 season due to a Work Health and Safety incident. Community safety is always our top priority, and I don’t want to put anyone at risk.

“I also want to assure everyone that I voted against the decision to close the pool in the July 2022 meeting. Following the closure, I advocated hard to ensure council goes out to the community straight away to seek their input and feedback on the future of the site in the masterplan. “I am excited to confirm that while the lap pool will be demolished, the beach entry pool will be saved. This is a fantastic outcome that we can all be proud of,” said Cr Murphy.

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