Pool high and dry

The relocation of Parramatta War Memorial Pool remains unfunded, six months before the CBD is left without its much-loved pool.

Under fire: Stuart Ayres

Under fire: Stuart Ayres

Sports minister Stuart Ayres repeatedly refused to commit to fully funding the pool relocation during budget estimates last week.

City of Parramatta Council will work with Parramatta Park Trust on a feasibility study into the suitability of the former golf course.  The existing pool will close in March due to the stadium redevelopment.

Mr Ayres believed the council was getting a good result out of his government.

“It is getting a new Western Sydney Stadium, a new Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, and it has had significant investment in roads to make the city more accessible,” he told parliament.

“It is only fair NSW taxpayers have an appropriate conversation with the council about the facilities we invest in. I do not think that creates an obligation on the NSW government to fund the complete relocation of the pool, particularly when ongoing maintenance and running of the pool will be a council responsibility.”

Most of the Sun’s questions regarding costs and why the pool relocation wasn’t included in the 2016 – 2017 budget were ignored by the minister’s office.

"Subject to funding arrangements, City of Parramatta Council will be responsible for delivering the new aquatic centre,” a spokeswoman said.

The council has welcomed a joint funding approach.

“Council is continuing to investigate interim arrangements to meet the community’s needs for aquatics services and facilities after the closure of the Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Centre,” a council spokeswoman said.

“City of Parramatta regards the provision of swimming and recreation facilities as an extremely important part of the services we provide to the community, and we are working hard to minimise the inconvenience of the closure for pool users.”

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