THE councillor who successfully moved to limit spending on the proposed Rosebud Aquatic Centre at $43.57 million admits his hand would have been only “halfway up” without the cap.
Cr David Gill told last week’s meeting at the Rosebud Memorial Hall, which adopted the larger pool option, that he was “putting my hand up for a 50-metre pool. Yes I want a 50-metre pool”.
But, he said later, he was concerned the shire was neglecting other issues, such as pressing social needs in Somerville and Hastings, low cost housing, halls in disrepair and “community houses going bankrupt”, such as Mornington Community Contact (“Parents baffled by childcare loss” The News 6/3/18).
“Only two weeks ago a majority of councillors voted against a $40,000 CFA water tank for Red Hill in an area without mains water and other emergency items like defibrillators, even after a recent death at a local cricket ground,” he said.
“The Red Hill ward is exactly 50 per cent of the shire with a relatively small population. This should not mean they don’t deserve facilities taken for granted elsewhere. This applies to the other Western Port wards also.
“There is not one community house, no information centres, no library, no swimming pool, no Christmas decorations, not even one soccer pitch in the 10 villages and hamlets of the Red Hill ward.
“We do have one men’s shed courtesy of the CFA which, by the way, this council recently voted against giving a donation to.
“The roads in Red Hill ward, many unmade, are the most dangerous in the shire yet we don’t have an improvement strategy for them, just for the made roads.”
Cr Gill said the 50-metre pool – if it’s built without a budget limit and without analysing real needs – could have been a “financial disaster for the less noisy or needy areas”.
With the shire “surrounded by water and with the most [backyard] swimming pools in Victoria, 15,000, a learn-to-swim pool and hydro therapy pool were and remain the main reasons for having an aquatic centre”, he said.
“The size of the other pool should be within our means.”