In a sometimes emotion-charged meeting, the council after consideration of its two pool polls – one in 2013 and one this year – and gave the project the thumbs down.
The most recent survey for a hydrotherapy and learn-to-swim pool estimated to cost $1.2 million found 39 per cent of respondents in favour and 61 per cent opposed.
Supporters of Denmark Aquatic Centre Committee Inc. claimed the results were skewed and misleading.
DACCI member Wendy Edgley told the council that in the 2013 survey respondents were rejecting the rate increase and not the concept of a pool.
And in this year’s survey respondents viewed the hydrotherapy and learn-to-swim pool as inadequate for the town’s requirements.
DACCI president Cyril Edwards questioned the 2021 date to ‘reawaken’ the pool ‘process’, which would not make the pool a reality until about the 2027-28 financial year.
Shire president Ross Thornton said councils of the future could always change the 2021 date if circumstances changed.
During debate Cr Thornton disagreed with Cr Kelli Gillies’ view that the community had an ‘appetite’ to pay for a pool and he had found in discussion with people not one had wanted to pay for the big or small concept of a swimming pool.
Cr Thornton said DACCI should produce ‘real figures’ accurately reflected in a quantitative survey.
Cr Ian Osborne said people had persistently said they did not support paying for either pool proposal: “That’s the bottom line and it’s time for council to move on to other matters”.
“Funds have dried up,” he said.
Forward estimates for State Government’s Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund had dropped from $21 million to $7 million.
On top of this Commonwealth Grants Commission revenue was at a minimum and the Great Southern Development Commission would only support projects of strategic importance.
Cr Jan Lewis said that if her fellow councillors had listened to people they would have understood that the Shire’s latest survey was a farce.
Shire figures had been ‘inflated and unquantified’ and that the success of a project was a case of where there was a will there was away.
Cr Lewis called for a continued conversation with DACCI, with two Shire representatives to ‘keep the door open’ and the project ‘ticking over’.
Cr John Sampson said he had personally voted in favour of the 25m-pool project and the hydrotherapy and learn-to-swim project.
“But as a councillor, I have listened to the community and support their decision,” he said.
The 25m concept was not viable due to financial circumstances facing local government.
“To claim otherwise is pure financial fantasy and fairyland economics,” Cr Sampson said.
The inclusion of the 25m concept in the latest survey would have raised hopes that the council could not have fulfilled.
Cr Sampson said there had been no better consultation and engagement than that undertaken by the Shire for the pool and it was unfair that disappointed people had tried to twist voting numbers to suit their view.
“This is nonsense and embarrassing to listen to,” he said.
The motion at the meeting outlined that the project would not be revived unless Denmark’s population increased, economic circumstances changed, there were improved transport options between Denmark and Albany and ratepayers supported the proposal through a survey.
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Despite calls to the community to comment on the concept plan there were only five received, a matter which disappointed shire president Ross Thornton at the last council meeting on September 29. Read More ...
The Denmark brigades - Koorabup/Owingup, Carmarthen, Parryville, Hazelvale/Tingledale, William Bay - along with Youngs Siding in the City of Albany are among 30 WA volunteer bush fire brigades to have shared in $95,000 worth of grants from Western Power. Read More ...
PUBLIC comment is being called for about the installation of long vehicle parking bays in the Denmark central business district.
It is proposed that three normal parking bays in North Street opposite the fire station be set aside for two-hour parking as long vehicle bays.
An area already used for recreational vehicle parking in Annie Harrison Park is also under consideration as is four-hour parking at the basketball courts in Berridge Park, which is also used for RV parking.
The corner of Walker Street and Hollings Road, on the eastern side of Hollings Road, is to be considered for two-hour parking and the Denmark Visitor Centre where four-hour parking is already in place.
After a 30-day comment period the matter will be referred back to the council and any changes will be require an amendment to the parking by-laws.
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Instead the Shire will designate two officers, shire chief executive Dale Stewart and community and regulatory services director Gregg Harwood, to oversee the matter according to State legislation. Read More ...