Mirboo North swimming pool lifeguard, John Wright, chats with some of those who took the first dip in the $5.7 million pool last Saturday, including Steven, Carmel, Riley, Fred, Aisling, Ruairi, Ruth and Jodie. m064721

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Councillors Clare Williams and Adrian Darakai have wasted no time fully immersing themselves in their new roles, quite literally, when they were among the first people to dive into Mirboo North’s new $5.7 million swimming pool last Saturday.

However, they did so without bathing suits or more accurately, in their street clothes.

And with the water temperature already at a respectable 25 degrees in the big pool, it wasn’t all that cold, according to Cr Darakai.

“It’s just great for the community that we at the point now where the new pool is back open again and it looks fantastic,” Cr Darakai said after the unplanned dip.

“We just thought it would be a bit of fun to go in,” he said.

Offering support from the sidelines was a more circumspect Cr Jenni Keerie.

“It looks pretty good from here,” she said as the two young councillors towelled off afterwards.

Members of the Friends of Mirboo North Pool, the pool committee and shire officials were there last Saturday morning for a soft opening ahead of the arrival of Mirboo North Primary School kids for the pool’s first official engagement, a week of swimming lessons starting on Monday this week.

According to president of the Friends of the Mirboo North Pool, Tanya Wright, the pool will be open to the community this Saturday and Sunday, November 27 and 28 even if it’s just for a look with temperatures expected to be in the teens on both days.

The town pools at Korumburra and Poowong were also expected to open this Saturday but the forecast temperature looks to be against them.

Ms Wright said the wonderful new facility at Mirboo North was a credit to the government, the council and the community, which raised in excess of $1 million for the project.

“We raised money and had input into the design, including insisting that there be all-season access to a community meeting space which we expect to be well used throughout the year,” Mrs Wright said.

“We’re just so excited about what’s been achieved in re-making this iconic asset and to have it open again after two years.”

South Gippsland Shire Council recreation officer Ian Murphy said it was a brilliant facility but no more than the town and district deserved after the commitment they had made to its redevelopment.

“We’ve got the 25-metre pool and retained the ‘ditch’ that everyone wanted. There’s the learn to swim pool at depths between 0.5 and 1 metre and the addition of the Splash Pad play area with its button-activated waterspouts, sprays and water pistols.

“We’re confident it will get a lot of use this year and well into the future as well.”

An extensive array of solar panels, a legacy of Gippsland Solar, provides power and heating to the pool complex, already raising the temperature of the small pool to 30 degrees and the big pool to 25 degrees for Saturday’s introduction.