Looking for friends of the pool

Cardinia Residents and Ratepayers Association members, including Dot Murphy, Gloria O'Connor and Cheryl Billings want to have a say in the outdoor pool's future. 239970_11 Photo: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Shelby Brooks

Anyone interested in the future of the Pakenham Outdoor Pool is being asked to join a new friends group.

Friends of the Pakenham Outdoor Pool will be a subcommittee of the Cardinia Residents and Ratepayers Association (CRRA).

CRRA executive Cheryl Billings Smith said a friends group for the pool was “vital” to ensure its survival.

“What would not be good about a friends group?” she said.

“A friends group means you’ve got a good support network that would be able to advocate on behalf of the pool.

“I think it’s vital we get one.”

Cheryl is worried about the pool’s future following the release of the PB Ronald Master Plan which showed no current plans for the pool.

In 2019, works to upgrade the building and pathways at the Pakenham Outdoor Pool were completed, including adding accessible parking, accessible changing spaces and widening and increasing paths of travel throughout the pool.

The Cardinia Shire Council is currently working with Sport and Recreation Victoria on planning additional accessibility access upgrades.

The pool was built in 1956 following the Melbourne Olympic Games and is the only 50 metre outdoor pool in Cardinia Shire.

It was closed for a period of five years in the early 2000s.

Cheryl is hoping a friends group would be able to work with council on any future upgrade plans to the outdoor pool.

“We need to be arguing for the pool and if it’s going to be upgraded, we should look at salting it and should look at covering it so we get a lot more use out of it and heating it,” Cheryl said.

The issue of the Pakenham Outdoor Pool will be brought to the CRRA Community Forum in July.