Bulahdelah residents are wondering how they will be cooling off this summer after MidCoast Council announced unsupervised pools in the region would not open for the 2020-21 swimming season.
The six lane, 25 metre swimming facility - which also includes a six metre round toddler pool - along with Tea Gardens, Stroud, Nabiac and Krambach district swimming pools will remain closed due to COVID regulations imposed by the State government.
"People are up in arms that our pool will not open this summer," Bulahdelah resident, Karryn Bartlett said.
"We have people who regularly use the pool for exercise or physio; they use it every day," she said.
Ms Bartlett said Bulahdelah was too far from the coast or the lake for residents to take a quick dip to cool off.
"We don't want to go through a 40 degree day without being able to have a swim."
She had been advised by MidCoast Council the pool could re-open if a community group took out a $20M public liability insurance policy and completed a State government COVID Safe Plan.
The community would be provided with a front gate key for a cost of a $150 refundable deposit.
"We will have to collect the key from either Taree or Forster."
Ms Bartlett was advised the pool would have to be booked as a user group which would be responsible for unlocking and locking the entrance gate at the beginning and the end of use.
"This is to ensure that the pool is not accessible to the general public during and after your booking," a MidCoast Council spokesperson said.
People are up in arms that our pool will not open this summer.Karryn Bartlett
"These requirements are in place for the current Public Health Order.
"When the restrictions ease or change, council will reassess the requirements and advise all user groups accordingly."
She said with many people out of work as a result of the pandemic provided an ideal job opportunity.
"There are enough people out there who want a job.
"Council has someone come every day to clean, surely they can look after the pool."
She feared the current situation could evolve into a permanent closure.
"Is this an excuse for council to close it down in the future."
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However, councillor Karen Hutchinson assured there were no plans to close down Bulahdelah swimming pool.
"We are still maintaining the pool," Cr Hutchinson said.
"The State government has COVID rules and regulations in place, which some of our pools cannot meet, so sadly these facilities are closed," she said.
"Schools along with swimming lessons are permitted under the COVID plan which they must have and implement.
"Life is a challenge in lots of areas at the moment and until the State government change the COVID regulations we have to abide by them.
"Let's hope our lives get back to 'normal' ASAP."
A community petition is available at Bulahdelah Newsagency and Myall Hair and Beauty lobbying council to employ staff district swimming pools.
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