Wingecarribee Finally Gets A Covered Pool

With the opening of the Moss Vale War Memorial Aquatic Centre at the weekend, Wingecarribee Shire now has the covered pool that has been debated and fought over for decades.

Council ought to be congratulated for finally getting one of these things built, even if there is still disagreement about it’s size and location. The fact is that the facility is now open and ready for use.

Over the years, a lot of proposals have come and gone. The largest of these to be funded by council would have been propped up by sales of disused public land across the shire, and was the subject of a plebiscite at the time of the 2008 council election.

Larry Whipper was a big opponent of that plan, so the following quote in the Southern Highland News from our esteemed Deputy Mayor ought to be taken with a touch of irony:

It’s something we can be really proud of despite all the obstacles that came up.

The community deserves this and it makes you wonder why we hadn’t built it a long time ago.

Had the 2008 plan proceeded, a much larger leisure centre would have been opened sometime in 2009 or 2010.

In fairness, Clr Whipper did propose to cover Bowral or Moss Vale Pool in lieu of building a leisure centre, but somewhere along the way that morphed into a full redevelopment of Moss Vale Pool, and tearing out a 33m pool to replace it with a 25m one.

The motion is recorded in a 2008 blog post by Clr Jim Clark:

An amendment by Clr Larry Whipper to not proceed with the land sales nor continue with the Leisure centre and instead cover Bowral or Moss Vale Pool was hotly debated and lost.

So, Wingecarribee finally has its covered pool, and the vitriol and hatred can be put to bed at council, at least until Renwick and other developments at Mittagong are fully occupied and the residents there demand their own year-round swimming facility.

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