Last lifeline thrown to community's pool
AN ULMARRA resident has enlisted the support of a national swimming pool expert to help save the community's pool.
The Clarence Valley Council announced yesterday the pool would close for the last time at 3pm on Thursday, putting a full stop after years of battling to save the pool.
But the former secretary of the Ulmarra Swimming Pool Preservation Society, Des Flatley, has ditched the community group, instead calling on the services of swimming pool expert and life long friend Peter Thorneycroft to make one last bid to save the pool.
Mr Flatley said he will meet Mr Thorneycroft at Ulmarra in three weeks after his friend returns from inspecting cyclone damage to pools in Queensland.
"Peter and my kids grew up together and I have worked with him on swimming pool projects in other areas," Mr Flatley said.
"He was involved in building the Sydney Olympic Pool and contracts out to big firms who need pool construction in their projects.
"Peter will have a look at the Ulmarra Pool when he comes here an we will have a look at what we can do to make it work."
Mr Flatley said he talked to the council late this afternoon about his plans and asked for the pool to be left untouched.
"We need to see what we've got there so we can make an informed decision when we come to look at it," Mr Flatley said.
He said as long as the council stuck with the proposal it gave to the community group last year to lease the pool to them for $1, he believed it was possible to make a go of it.
Mr Flatley said he had divorced himself from the community group which has battled the council's plans to close the pool since 2013.
He said the community had tried hard, but support had fallen away at key times with poor attendances at protest meetings last year.
"I think a lot of people got a bit defeatist about it, which has allowed them to come in now and close it."
On social media the comments about the imminent closure of the pool have been damning of the decision.
The most common theme was smaller communities were losing out compared to major centres.