Shut-out-while-others-splash-aroundKorumburra and district residents are angry after they were not allowed into the Korumburra Pool in recent weeks, despite it being open for swimming lessons. C070315.

By Ash’lee Charlton

FRUSTRATION over the opening conditions of the outdoor pools across South Gippsland has been heightened after locals were unable to swim during recent warm weather, despite the pool being open for private swimming lessons.
Despite the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting temperatures below the 26 degrees needed for the pool to open the following day, the past fortnight saw several days reach above the minimum temperature required. But, as per the new shire guidelines, the pool remained closed.
Families and pool users say the situation was made more frustrating by the fact that the Korumburra Pool was open for private swimming lessons on those days, but general admission swimmers were still not allowed in.
Last Friday the residents gathered at the Korumburra Pool last week to express their feelings at once again being locked out.
Speaking at the pool last Friday, local mum and member of the group leading the push for changes to be made, Danielle Fowles said it was disappointing.
“It really makes me mad that they are open, but we are not allowed in,” she said.
“My kids would definitely swim today if it had been open.
“I feel sorry for the pool staff, it is not their fault, yet they are the ones that have to say no.
“More than 30 people were apparently turned away on Monday.”
Under the contracts made with YMCA, the pool can be booked out for private sessions such as swimming lessons regardless of the temperature.
But, locals say if the pool is open for lessons with life guards on duty, turning members of the public away makes no sense.
“How is it being cost effective if there are staff in there and people out here wanting to pay money to get in?” Ms Fowles asked.
And her sentiments were echoed by the many families that turned up at the pool last Friday, including mum Sasha Boys who said the changes had impacted her children’s summer holidays.
“We don’t go away at this time of year and we would usually spend it down here at the pool, so it has really put a dampener on the holidays for the kids,” she said.
“The lack of community consultation before the changes were made is my biggest gripe.
“And the fact that even when I bought a season ticket, I still wasn’t informed that there were changes from last year.”
A petition with more than 1000 signatures calling for change will now be presented to the South Gippsland Shire Council.
Since December, the group of local parents have been hitting the pavement and using the social media page ‘Save Our Pools,’ to gain signatures.
The petition will be presented by the group to council on February 18.