Over the summer months, the Cowra Aquatic Centre is considered an essential facility by Council for the shire and its residents. Mayor of Cowra, Councillor Bill West would like to remind residents and users of the pool that the situation put in place by Council to maintain and manage the pool for the remainder of the 2020/2021 season is only a temporary one to ensure the pool can continue to provide its most essential service to the shire of Cowra – that of being open.
“The Cowra Aquatic Centre has always been a core part of our shire every summer. It plays an essential role in providing learn to swim services for our children, swimming clubs and squads for our advanced swimmers, a place for young families to spend their weekends, and above all else, a place to gather for fitness,” said Cr West.
Due to unplanned staff shortages in December 2020 and the approaching Christmas school holiday break, Council were unable to fill the roster with trained and professional lifeguarding services to ensure the safety and supervision services required at the facility.
“After having to close the pool twice in December due to lack of staff, it became a priority for Council to enlist the services of Belgravia Leisure to ensure the pool remained open for the rest of the 2020/2021 season,” Cr West said.
“Closing the Aquatic Centre for extended periods of time was not considered an acceptable option by Council, by myself or by my fellow Councillors,” Cr West continued.
In December 2020, Belgravia Leisure Pty Ltd were appointed by Council to run the pool for the remainder of the 2020/2021 season due to their ability and resources to maintain the existing operating hours. A mixture of Council staff and Belgravia Leisure staff are now providing lifeguarding and Duty Manager Services and report to Council management.
Belgravia Leisure are committed to supporting the regions they operate in which the company said includes “hiring local staff, engaging local suppliers and keeping regional economies healthy through investing in resources in the area.”
All staff working at Belgravia Leisure have “undergone COVID-safe training as per Safe Work Australia guidelines and are provided with checklists to ensure that the Aquatic Centre maintains health and safety standards.”
“Whilst there have been challenges due to the sudden change in pool operations, I have full confidence that Belgravia Leisure will maintain a good level of supervision and cleanliness at the pool. The pool water is regularly tested in accordance with health guidelines and is meeting those guidelines,” Cr West concluded.