Final review of pool plans influences councillors' last-minute change

COUNCILLORS who voted in favour of constant depth for the 50-metre pool said the change came from taking their final chance to review the plans. 

The contract had already been awarded for a variation floor of 1.35 to 1.85 metres when a report was called for to look into the depth of the pool. 

At Wednesday night’s council meeting, the contracted design was over-turned with councillors voting five-four for a uniform depth of 1.85 metres. 

Samantha McIntosh, Joshua Morris, Vicki Coltman, Amy Johnson and John Burt all voted in favour of the change to uniform depth. 

The Courier yesterday requested an interview with Mayor Joshua Morris but was instead emailed comments from Cr Morris by media officer Marcus Power.

“We went through a process and let the contract. Once the contract was let we understood that we were well under budget,” Cr Morris said. 

“As a result of that, councillors examined the project to revisit the option of creating a constant depth pool.

“From these discussions, I came to the view that a constant depth would best serve the needs of Ballarat and the region both now and into the future.”

Cr Coltman said they had been given the information by the advisory committee, but were later approached by members of the community who had concerns. 

“They wanted to us to be asking questions to ensure we made the right decision,” Cr Coltman said. 

Cr McIntosh said there was always a process to continue to review decisions.

“There was an opportunity to review all the plans at the start of the process and that’s what we did,” Cr McIntosh said.

“It came back in under budget so we had scope for alterations and given an opportunity to look at possible issues.

“We need to always go back to plans and consistently review them.” 

Councillors Amy Johnson and John Burt were phoned and emailed by The Courier yesterday, but did not respond before deadline.

nicole.cairns@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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