CALLS FOR ISLAND POOL TO BE OPEN ALL-YEAR-ROUND
Major successes In the recent Queensland Masters Swimming Championships have resulted in calls for the Bay Islands Aquatic Centre swimming pool on Russell Island to remain open all-year-round.
The pool currently closes on Sunday 18 April 2021 and reopens around 17 September at start of school holidays.
There is a very active group of seniors who use the pool on a regular basis who say that the pool’s winter closing is detrimental to the health and well being of many islanders.
They say: “Swimming, and other pool activities, have become an essential part of helping the older residents of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands stay healthy.
“More than 44% of the islands’ population are aged 60 or over, and enabling an active lifestyle generates direct economic value for the state.
“The improved health of participants, and the reductions in health care expenditure, are estimated to be worth $22.14 per visit, or $2.35 billion across Australia each year, according to 2017 research from Royal Life Saving into the economic benefits of Australia’s public aquatic facilities.”
They say the Bay Islands Aquatic Centre, located on Russell Island, is one of the few pools left in Queensland that still closes for periods of the year, only being open from September to April.
The problem, it appears, is that the aquatic centre is owned by the State Government whereas it is managed by Redland City Council.
The island swimmers say they will continue to work to convince Redlands Council, who operate the pool, to invest in a heat pump that would allow the pool to remain open year-round.
The Queensland Department of Education, who owns the pool, have declined to invest further in upgrading the pool facilities.
• Bay Islands Aquatic Centre on Russell Island