Noise protest closes swim safety school
By RENEE FORD
ILUKA woman Jo Haupt, an Austswim accredited instructor since 1985, was teaching kindergarten children to swim for free in her salt water pool, until a noise complaint forced council to shut her down.
"My daughter is in kindergarten and when I received a note that said the children would be bussed down to Woombah for a lesson, I offered to teach them free of charge," she said.
Jo had previously received a letter from the Clarence Valley Council, but had put it aside, believing it was a bill.
However, on the final day of her 'kinder classes', Jo received a phone call.
"The council was really nice about it, and said I could do the last lesson because kids were already on their way. But I was told that was it ? because a neighbour had complained about noise," she said.
For the kinder lessons, 15 children and mothers attended a one-hour lesson between 11.30am and 12.30pm.
"It was no louder than a mower," she said.
"It was great, a beautiful experience. All the mothers were there and the kids loved it. By the end all of them swam at least four metres."
With 20 years experience as a swimming instructor and a qualified PE teacher, Jo said she teaches kids to swim for love not for the money.
And she can't stress enough the importance of a swimming education with youngsters.
"In this area we have houses a few metres from the river, so it's really important for safety, and so they can have fun," she said.
Jo said she was willing to help on a committee, if formed, to get a community swimming pool constructed at Iluka and she would like to help foster support for a surf life saving club.
But meanwhile, her plans to conduct three, five-day swimming classes in her pool throughout January have been foiled.
She has been told to submit a development application to council and is hopeful of its success.
She is seeking letters of support to be sent to council so that she can continue.