The Daylesford Olympic Pool will open this weekend for its 50th year.
Council workers were busy this week preparing the Hepburn Shire outdoor pools to open on Saturday 3 December.
Originally named the Daylesford and District Memorial Pool, it was officially opened on November 11, 1972. The pool was built partly from community fund raising. Many long-time locals have strong affiliations with the pool which date to their childhood.
Council will again offer free entry to Shire pools. Free access to Shire pools ties directly to the Council Plan which aims to create a healthy, supported and empowered community. However, a sector-wide shortage of aquatics staff will mean reduced pool operating hours.
Council has budgeted $500,000 for swimming pool operations in 2022/23 which includes staffing and operational costs.
The 50 year old Daylesford pool has aged gracefully but is beginning to show signs of its age as are other pools in the Shire. Local pools have not been as well maintained as other regional pools of the same vintage. A further $578,000 in capital improvements has been budgeted for upgrades to meet current standards and OH&S requirements as recommended in the Aquatics Strategy adopted earlier this year. A Council spokesperson said that it was anticipated that the works would be completed by mid 2023 and stressed that the existing conditions did not present any risks to users.
Council has also implemented a recommendation of the Aquatics Strategy to commission a feasibility study for an indoor aquatics facility in the Shire. “Council has commenced project planning for the feasibility study and anticipates that an update will be provided to community and key stakeholders this month,” said Natalie Walker, Director Community and Development. “Community and stakeholder consultation will form a large part of this project as well as discussions with the State and Federal Governments regarding potential funding models and opportunities.”
Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said that the community told us that access to quality aquatic facilities is important to them, and Council has listened. “We are investing over $1 million this financial year in our aquatic facilities. Although limited due to staffing resources, we are aiming to make the opening hours suitable for family and recreation use and will keep on reviewing and assessing the hours throughout the pool season. We will extend these hours where we can,” he said.
“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 Bradley Thomas, Council’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re really keen to have more people join our team to give our community the best opportunity to cool off over summer.”
Lifeguards require certain qualifications but there are other roles such as Community Pool Assistants, which involve interaction with pool users but which do not require pool qualifications.
Pool opening hours are:
• Weekends – 2- 6pm
• Weekdays during school term – 3-7pm
• Weekdays during school holidays – 2-6pm
The Council weather policy which has been in place for the past two years will again operate. Trentham and Daylesford pools will open on days predicted to be 21°C+ based on the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predictions for Ballarat. Clunes Pool will open on days predicted to be 21°C+ based on weather predictions for Bendigo. Changes to the planned hours will be advertised on Council’s Facebook page.
The weekend weather predictions from the BOM are favourable (28°C for Saturday and 30°C for Sunday) so the Daylesford pool will be open. The water temperature today was a brisk 18°C so take a hoodie for when you get out.
If the pool hours or conditions don’t suit, remember that the Lake is open 24/7, the water clarity is improving after recent rains and the current water temperature is 20°C.
Find out more on public pools and job opportunities at www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/Council/Work-for-Council/Job-vacancies