Sink or swim: Council at loggerheads over pool report

GRIFFITH City Council is withholding a potentially damning report into the Griffith pool, opting to deal with the matter in-house before releasing information to the public.

The findings are in from an external audit conducted on the financial situation of the Griffith Regional Aquatic Leisure Centre (GRALC).

Last week, councillors met to consider the report's suggested options for stemming close to $1 million in losses incurred every year since the centre opened.

However, Mayor John Dal Broi and council general manager Brett Stonestreet are at odds over when the information should be released to the public.

Mr Stonestreet said the findings of the report would remain in-house until at least the end of May when next year's budget

n Continued Page 2 would be finalised but Cr Dal Broi wanted to consult the community sooner.

"If council was to release the report now, there would be a whole host of speculation so we need to address this in an orderly fashion," Mr Stonestreet said.

"There is information sensitive to both the operations of council and also external parties to council.

"Only after a final draft of next year's budget is formed by the end of May would council be in a position to say here's the report and here's what we plan on doing about it."

But according to Mayor John Dal Broi, the report could see the light of day sooner.

"If the community disagrees with the councillors' decision I want to know before it goes to budget," Cr Dal Broi said.

"I want council to properly consider the options, then release the report and stand back to see what users of the pool and ratepayers think before making a decision.

"This is not about a witch hunt or trying to get staff sacked, we had to have a look at the huge losses at the complex and find out where we were bleeding."

Residents have consistently voiced their dislike of GRALC and one Griffith mother has opted to take her children to the Darlington Point pool rather than swim locally.

"The pool is often so packed that once you find a seat you can't afford to move and you sit there pouring with sweat because it is so hot and humid," Tania Magoci said.

"Parents can't even watch their kids compete in swimming carnivals because there's not enough space once the kids and teachers have gone in.

"Council needs to invite the public to help with the solution because the public pays for the pool and we deserve to be kept in the loop."

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