Hepburn Shire pools, including the Daylesford Olympic Pool, will reopen for the summer season this Saturday, December 4.

Once again, entry to Shire pools will be free but there are some changes from last summer.

Everyone over the age of 12 years must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. The Service Victoria phone app, a printed immunisation history statement or  proof of vaccination exemption will be checked on entry to the pool. This is in line with the Victorian Government vaccination mandate.

Pool opening hours will be reduced. The pool will be open from 2pm to 6pm on Saturdays, Sundays and school and public holidays. During the school term, the pool will be open weekdays from 3pm to 7 pm.

Operating hours may also be impacted by the Council weather policy. The pools will only open when the forecast temperature is greater than 21°C.

Council has stated that reduced operating hours are because of a sector-wide shortage of aquatics staff.  “We are aiming to make the opening hours suitable for family and recreation use and will continually review and assess the hours throughout the pool season,” said Council CEO, Bradley Thomas. “We will extend these where we can.”

Council is continuing a recruitment drive for lifeguards and customer roles. “We would love for more people to put up their hand and apply for a job with our Aquatics Team so we can extend the hours of operation of our local pools,” said Mr Thomas.

The reduced hours will reduce staffing costs somewhat but operating the Council pools is an expensive exercise. Last year, Council spent in excess of $400,000 operating the Shire pools. There were approximately 25,000 entries meaning that Council subsidised each entry by approximately $16. On average, Shire residents used the pool 1.6 times over the last summer period.