Black Hill community may save pool from closure

Lochlan Pett could yet do another backflip into the Black Hill pool after the latest rescue bid. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Lochlan Pett could yet do another backflip into the Black Hill pool after the latest rescue bid. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

THE Black Hill Swimming Pool may receive a lifeline and stay open if the swell of community supports turns into a potential business model to run the facility. 

The City of Ballarat is expected to work with key community members to discover if there is a potential business model to save the facility and hand it over to the community. 

Councillor Des Hudson said councillors had met on Wednesday night to discuss the issue and agreed they were “not in any rush” to decommission or destroy the facility. 

“The community could take ownership of the facility,” he said. 

“We will happily talk and consult with the community to create a business model.”

Cr Hudson said the council was happy to support the community through the process and would provide expertise to guide them through looking at the idea. 

This means the pool could potentially travel down a similar path to the Brown Hill Pool, which is run by the Brown Hill Progress Association.

  Black Hill resident Leigh Cassidy said the council should talk to residents about this idea to find out if it was even possible.

“My whole point is that the council hasn’t engaged with the community at all,” he said. “It is the great unknown.

“How do we even know if this is a solution if the council hasn’t even asked us. How will they know if they don’t ask?”

City of Ballarat general manager city infrastructure Eric Braslis said some plants had been removed around the pool already.

Mr Braslis also said further community consultation would determine the preferred future use of the site. 

The council voted to decommission the pool at the end of November with all councillors, with the exception of Cr Peter Innes and Cr Belinda Coates, voting in favour of the pool’s closure. 

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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