The proposed Batemans Bay aquatic centre may be pushed onto the national agenda after a community meeting with NSW Government Bega MP Andrew Constance and Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes.
Speaking in Batemans Bay on Friday, November 17, Mr Constance said there could be additional money for a 50 metre pool, and intended to pressure Federal Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis to chip in.
“I might just come along – and I’ve done it before – and whack a bunch of money on the table and see what I can leverage out of the Commonwealth,” Mr Constance said.
“I have every intention of making Ann Sudmalis’ life uncomfortable over this, even if we are from the same party.”
Some community groups fear a 25-metre pool will be inadequate, while council maintains the running costs for a 50-metre pool would be unaffordable, without additional ongoing funding.
Mr Constance said the consequences of greater running costs could not be discounted.
“Ultimately, running costs will have to be evaluated against other interests in the shire,” he said.
“As a member of this community I’m concerned about the cost of living in regional areas.
“We don’t want the cost of entry to the center to be unaffordable, especially considering this is a lower socioeconomic region.”
Mr Constance said the next steps for the project were in the council’s hands.
“Council would like to review assumptions behind the business case for going with the 25-metre pool over the 50-metre in light of the community response and go from there,” he said.
“If we go to market and it is feasible we will do it.
“I will actively become involved in this process if I have to.”