Owen pool opens, but hiccups for Hamley

IT was a case of better late than never for Owen residents, when repairs to their local swimming pool were completed just before Christmas.

While these repairs were short-term renewal works only, with Balaklava pool closed indefinitely and Hamley Bridge’s pool undergoing major repairs before reopening this summer, residents in the Wakefield Regional Council (WRC) area were desperate to have at least one public pool open now.

With around $800,000 required for full renewal works to make the Owen pool compliant by next summer, the smaller spend now of around $45,000 was considered by WRC as the best option for pool users and ratepayers alike.

Owen swimming pool president, Erin Warnes, said it’s a relief to finally have the pool open again.

“We had initially hoped the pool would be open in early December, but that got delayed, and initially once repairs were done, there was trouble with water quality, so we had to cancel some of our CPR and volunteer training, and defer VACSWIM lessons until that was sorted out,” she said.

“But it’s all ok now and about 40 children have just completed VACSWIM.”

Erin said the pool committee has had numerous enquiries about lap swimming from Balaklava and Hamley residents, and said the pool has been relatively busy in the past few weeks.

“The weather was a bit cool to start with, but now it’s warming up – and while we’re open each day from 3.30 to 7.30pm in January, it is dependent on weather and volunteers,” she said.

Opening times are on their facebook page or to check, you can phone the canteen on 8528 6158.

Erin also said there will be an Australia Day pool party from 12 noon to 6pm, with a barbecue and other activities planned.

Meanwhile, repairs to Hamley Bridge’s pool, which the committee hoped to reopen in January, have faced some hiccups.

Contractors have started repairs but the pool committee was recently advised that the anticipated opening will be delayed due to problems sourcing some repair products.

“Unfortunately there has been some unforeseen issues with the pool joints and being able to source the necessary products to remediate them,” the spokesperson said. “This has meant concrete couldn’t be poured before the New Year break, causing a significant delay in the pool being able to open at the end of January like first planned.”

WRC is currently waiting for an updated timeline from the contractor in regard to final completion.