Council to lift pool temperature in response to community survey

10 August 2022

Pool users at the Georgie Conway Leichhardt Community Swim Centre will feel the warmth of the water in time for spring 2022.

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson and Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said council had listened to the community and had some great news for pool users.

“The Georgie Conway Leichhardt Community Swim Centre is well-loved and well-utilised by the general community,” Cr Fechner said.

“However, the pool is also an important facility for older residents, people with disability, and those undertaking rehabilitation programs to access water exercise and hydrotherapy activities.

“Through a recent council engagement process, pool users indicated the pool is not warm enough and that this was impacting their use and enjoyment of the facility, particularly in winter.

“I am delighted to say that council will act on these concerns to transition from gas to electric heaters at the swim centre.

“Although not a ‘this winter’ solution, once the new electric heaters are installed, we intend to heat the pool to the requested 32 degrees.

“Thank you for your engagement and input over the last 12 months. It was terrific that so many in our community got involved and offered their feedback.”

The swim centre pools are currently heated by gas contained in cylinders. However, with gas in short supply globally and in South East Queensland after two flood events earlier this year, council has had difficulty sourcing supplies.

Concerns about the pool temperature were first raised by local resident Ken Alderton who made good use of the Public Participation section at a 2021 Ordinary Council meeting to put a case to increase the winter pool temperature from 29 to 32 degrees for the benefit of pool users.

A report to council said 29 degrees was consistent with other South East Queensland pools and that it would be extremely costly to lift the temperature with the outdated gas heaters.

Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said council had listened to pool users and found an affordable and sustainable solution.

“Council has already installed a new switchboard to accommodate the new electric heaters when they arrive,” Cr Doyle said.

“Unfortunately, due to supply chain issues, the heaters themselves are not expected to be installed until mid-September.

“I want to thank everyone who shared feedback with us and we are pleased to be able to meet the needs of our residents.

“This has been a great opportunity for Cr Fechner and I to work with the community, advocate on their behalf within council and secure a good outcome for those that rely on this pool.”