Tobruk pool's future in the balance
MAYOR Bob Manning wants to inspect the run down state of Tobruk Memorial Pool for himself before he agrees to fund a costly feasibility study into the pool's future.
The Cairns Post reported on Monday that the 50-year-old community pool is so dilapidated that it can only stay open in its current state for four more years.
The council’s community services committee voted yesterday to go ahead with a feasibility study that will look into the cost and benefits of a major makeover for Tobruk pool.
But those studies can be expensive for the council, and Cr Manning said he was uncomfortable about embarking on one before taking a tour of the pool.
"It’s very easy to take $100,000 and flush it down the drain just to have a great report that sits on the shelf," Cr Manning said, referring to the cost of the study.
Tobruk pool is the most costly council pool to run and maintain, but it attracts the fewest visitors each year.
The council spends $373,312 on the facility each year, which works out to about $15 for every swimmer.
"That’s not really sustainable stuff," CRC’s sport and recreation team leader Tim Dendle told councillors yesterday. "The Band-Aids that we’re continuing to put on are getting more and more expensive."
If it is approved by the full council at a meeting later this month, the study will investigate upgrading Tobruk pool to FINA standards – a transformation that could cost about $17.9 million and would help attract international swim meets.
The study will be undertaken in partnership with local stakeholders such as the nearby health centre, James Cook University and the sporting codes that have international-standard facilities at the same Sheridan St precinct.
Despite Cr Manning’s hesitation, councillors agreed it was time to take action on the tired pool, and the prospect of developing an aquatic centre needed to be explored.
"To do nothing is not an option and to say we’re going to close it down is a comment we probably didn’t need to make, but it’s an option," Cr Max O’Halloran, who is a life member of Tobruk pool, said.
"I believe we’ve probably got to think outside the square on it – to have it as a straight out swimming pool, I think those days are gone."
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Study: Cairns Regional Council will conduct a feasibility study on the costs and benefits of a major makeover for Tobruk pool.