The fate of the Black Hill pool hangs in the balance after the Ballarat City Council voted to progress with an aquatic strategy that could see it closed.
The council voted to place the draft strategy on public exhibition last night, but stressed the role of community input into its key recommendations.
Ballarat father Stuart McKee made a spoken submission to councillors highlighting the popularity of the pool, where his family had a season pass, and the existing opportunities to develop it.
“People come from Alfredton ... Clarkes Hill and travel past other pools to come to our pool,” he said.
“The actual attendance at Black Hill was higher than Brown Hill.”
The draft strategy instead aims to improve and expand the nearby Brown Hill pool, with decreasing patronage blamed for the recommendation to close the Chisholm Street facility and redevelop it.
The strategy recommends boosting infrastructure investment at Eureka, Brown Hill and Buninyong pools and building a “regionally significant” indoor/outdoor aquatic play space at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre.
Moving the recommendation to place the draft on public exhibition, deputy mayor Des Hudson said the strategy reflected the changing aquatic needs of the community.
“This is only about placing the strategy out for public comment,” he said.
“Our community wants to be able to access high quality aquatic facilities and in a lot of cases people are prepared to travel for the experience,” he said.
“The way people recreate is changing. With the installation of the (Midlands Reserve) aquatic play space, that was highly successful.”