Your June 10, 2022 correspondent Jenny Beacham adds fuel to the conspiracy theory she claims to resist, by misusing references to two earlier letter writers.
Allan Smith’s letter does not suggest a hidden plan to switch funding from the poor old Rex to an indoor pool. He gave some examples of other possible uses for public funds including extending the Daylesford Library, renovating current Council office spaces, modernising the Town Hall as a cinema, or building an indoor aquatic facility. No conspiracy there.
My husband Tim Bach’s letter focuses on our community’s ongoing pursuit of an indoor aquatic facility. He briefly contrasted the careful process being undertaken by the Council in considering shire-wide aquatic facilities with the unsubstantiated snap decision to buy the Rex. The bulk of his letter talked about challenges and possibilities for aquatic centre funding and operational models. Again, there is no hint of a hidden switcheroo plan.
Jenny Beacham asks for the data that shows extensive and prolonged community consultation about an indoor aquatic facility. Google it. It’s been going a long time. It was covered by the ABC in 2010 (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-06-16/1400-petition-for-daylesford-aquatic-centre/869096) and that petition followed efforts prior to 2002 (https://www.daylesfordarc.com.au/our-story.php). Most recently, check the Hepburn Shire website (https://participate.hepburn.vic.gov.au/aquatics-strategy) for its 2022 aquatic strategy documents. DIAC work is on their website (https://diac.com.au/) as is the work of the Creswick equivalent (https://creswickaquaticcentre.com.au/).
Community desire for an indoor aquatic facility is real and has been so for more than 25 years (Hepburn Shire Recreation Needs Study 1996). The conspiracy is a fake.
Margaret Hodge is a member of DIAC and other community groups
Editorial note: Tim Bach is the editor of the Wombat Post. He has not participated in editorial decisions on the publication of this letter