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Lambton Pool faces much-needed makeover

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Lambton Pool is set to undergo a $35 million makeover… if the Newcastle Independents gain your vote on 4 December.

The City of Newcastle hopefuls intend to turn the current premises into a year-round aquatic facility for everyone to enjoy.

Ward 3 Candidate Dave Wild said council had ignored the swimming centre long enough.

“Since 2017, despite Labor’s empty promises, no capital dollars have been spent on it,” he stated.

“So, it’s high time for the pool to be fully-refurbished.

“It will be a city aquatic complex we can be proud of, suitable for elite swimmers and all levels of competition, as well as retaining the family-friendly atmosphere, recreational pools and beautiful grounds which so many people use.

“The facility has needed work for decades and, now, the situation is completely dire.

“As a lifelong Lambton resident, my five kids have all had their school swimming carnivals at the pool over the years.

“It is shameful the way Labor has been wheeling out the same empty promise for the past few elections and yet nothing is done.

“It’s an insult to the people of Lambton.”

Mr Wild said the Newcastle Labor councillors had their chance to deliver the goods but failed.

“Unfortunately, they cannot be trusted to supply the necessary upgrade to Lambton Pool,” he explained.

“If elected on 4 December, we’ll get straight to work on improving this important city asset.”

Lord Mayoral candidate John Church said the situation at Lambton Pool was another example of neglect by the current council.

“We’re seeing examples all over the city,” he pointed out.

“The region’s surf clubs are ageing and need to be replaced.

“And, many of our sporting facilities are old and crumbling.

“The city deserves better and, frankly, it is not rocket science to simply deliver on what you’ve promised.

“Our inland pools are some of the most popular and utilised community assets.

“We need to change the infrastructure spending priorities in future budgets to address the significant backlog of assets, which need renewal or replacement.

“Every year we wait, these things become even more expensive.”

But, Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen hit back at Mr Church’s criticism, stating the claims were untrue.

“The Newcastle Independents have no credibility on our pools,” he said.

“Their members actually voted to privatise Lambton Pool during the last council, as well as close Beresfield Pool.

“Newcastle Labor councillors, on the other hand, have fought to protect Beresfield Pool, have kept entry fees lower than neighbouring councils, and invested millions into our pools over recent years.

“Most recently, this includes upgrades at Lambton and new playgrounds at Wallsend and Mayfield pools, ready for summer.”

Cr Clausen said estimates to upgrade an Olympic pool like Lambton would cost upwards of $70 million.

“Mr Church’s commitment is woefully inadequate,” he stated.

“You can’t build half a pool and call it finished.

“Since 2017, Labor councillors have worked with the NSW Government, who are now proposing to build a new indoor pool and aquatic sports facility just 1km away in Broadmeadow.

“Rather than supporting that proposal, John Church wants to use $35 million of ratepayers’ money on a duplicate indoor pool.

“Without showing how it will be funded, this commitment just doesn’t add up.

“In the course of this campaign, we’ve now seen John Church tally up a quarter of a billion dollars in new spending commitments, while also proposing to cut revenue.

“Yet again, his proposals simply don’t stack up to scrutiny.”

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