Swimming Pool [Update]
UPDATE 13/08/10: Yuendumu elders rock! Today, they approved $100k from royalty funds to run the pool. Add this to $49k from NT Government, funds raised from Mt Theo BBQ’s on Sports Weekend, and sales of Dog Ear Cafe, and we can start the pool up for another year. BIG thanks go out to GMAAAC mob! We now have enough to open the pool but still need your support in order to keep the pool going for the entire year.
“Mt Theo is to commended for their high standard of operations, commitment to safety and growing a sustained community swimming pool through a trained workforce.
“You really are NT best practice in Remote Pools”
Floss Roberts | Executive Director
Royal Life Saving Society NT Branch
The pool was opened by Jenny Macklin in October 2008. After 5 years of struggling to get the pool built, it was a great day for our community.
Despite this high affirmation from RLSS, two full incident free swimming seasons, visits by federal and territory Ministers applauding the pool, community and clinic conviction that the health of our children is improved, higher school attendance, local young people employed as lifeguards, full landscaping and children’s play equipment (donated by our own Warlukulangu Art Centre) our pool remains unsupported.
Apart from ‘emergency’ funding from FaHCSIA for 6 months operations in January 2010, we have received no government support for running our pool. It is a constant roller-coaster of writing submissions, talking to heads of government departments, and waiting for no response. In South Australia, the Premier’s Department funds all remote pools, but in NT there is no similar process. Many government officials express surprise and support, but no funds. It seems it is always the responsibility of someone else. I can’t find the ‘someone else’.
I am not comfortable asking for private donations for a pool that so clearly meets so many objectives of the Australian and Territory Governments. But to close the pool and wipe out those community benefits is unthinkable.
Our only support has been through occasional private donations, which give us hope that the broader Australian community acknowledges the significant benefits of the pool. These donations give us the impetus to keep lobbying, writing submissions, and hoping that ultimately our government will take responsibility.
Susie Low, CEO.