Triathlete claims council ?arrogant
By NEELIMA CHOAHAN
TWEED Shire Council has come under fire from an elite local swimmer over the closure of the Murwillumbah Memorial Swimming pool for renovations.
Tweed Valley Triathletes vice-president David Nadin has accused council of a lack of planning and incompetency.
"The council was promising to open the pool by January 2008, but they haven't even signed a contract with a builder yet," Mr Nadin said.
"By now they should have started work so that the pool could have been open for the start of next season."
Mr Nadin said all of Murwillumbah and not just triathletes would suffer due to the closure.
"For the whole town it's either this or nothing," he said.
"The council has shown a great contempt for the public."
Tweed Shire Council director of engineering and operations Patrick Knight admitted council was still in the process of selecting tenders.
"We don't expect to let a contract until July 2007," Mr Knight said.
The swimming complex is scheduled to re-open in July 2008 for the 2008/2009 season with a refurbished existing 50-metre pool, a two-storey car park for 194 cars and a new hydrotherapy pool.
Also in the pipeline for stage II is a 25-metre heated pool, diving pool, grandstand for the 50-metre pool and a third storey on the car park.
Tweed Shire Council aquatics facilities manager Glenn Nott, also head of the local adult swimming squad, "The Brass Monkeys", said it was essential to refurbish the 70-year-old facility.
Because the work would take 12 months to finish, the town would lose a swimming season no matter when construction started, he said.
"But there are other alternatives," Mr Nott said.
"There is an outdoor heated pool in Kingscliff, an indoor heated pool in Tweed Heads and a pool in Banora Point."
And there is the ocean or even the river, Mr Nott said.
"The Brass Monkeys don't worry about the sharks because we are not softies like the triathletes."