Shellharbour council will look into whether it can build a second ocean pool, after councillors voted to scope out where and how much the new swimming spot could be.
At this week’s council meeting, Deputy Mayor Kellie Marsh asked for a report looking into a viable location for the new pool.
She said the popular Beverley Whitfield pool at Shellharbour was often full, noting she had witnessed residents having to queue for swimming lanes.
“I have also heard of people travelling to Port Kembla to swim because Beverley Whitfield is too busy,” she said. “The amount of tourists and local that use this facility is increasing every year… [and] ocean pools stand the test of time.”
All councillors agreed to receive the report, but Mayor Marianne Saliba has warned that ocean pools could be costly, and expressed her concerns that the council had already appointed an aquatic committee to look into swimming options.
Similarly, Labor councillor Robert Petreski wondered whether it would be better to look into installing other types of pools.
In 2013, Wollongong City Council became so worried about the rising cost of its ocean pools that it considered letting the sea reclaim some of them.
And while this idea was quickly reversed due to widespread public backlash, the pools have been eating up large chunks of the council’s budget ever since as it struggles to maintain the assets in a difficult coastal environment.