Gympie country kids need access to $500k asset
IMBIL residents are calling for the Mary Valley State College pool to be re-opened to the public.
The pool in the school grounds was built with a combination of funding from the local council, State Government and community in 1980 and is run by the school.
Mary Valley councillor Bob Fredman said he backed the idea of the public being able to use the pool after school hours, but the local community would need to meet some strict requirements from Queensland Education for that to happen.
"If there are no local groups prepared to take on the challenge, I would certainly push for council to take over the after-hours operations of the pool," he said.
"I believe we already do this at another pool. It is a matter I would have to take to the 2018/19 budget process."
Imbil resident Graham Ellery, also known as "Bricks", heads the Imbillites Facebook page and is a passionate advocate for change within the township.
Mr Ellery, a former lifeguard, said he would love to see the pool re-opened to public use.
"I want it made available to the public and the local kids and to start a lifesaving club through the Royal Lifesaving Society. They control all inland waters," he said.
"I think it should be fast tracked so we've got it for this summer. It seems to be a terrible shame that it could be worth up to $500,000 and it's not being available to the public or to the kids.
"We should have training classes and swimming lessons so that the country kids have as many opportunities as those in the cities.
"I know Imbillites won't give up - they will keep going on this until we remove the hurdles and we get the pool opened. It's a shocking waste."
A Education Department spokesman said Queensland Education was committed to "strengthening relationships between schools and local communities."
"Mary Valley State College has met with the local council to consider ways of opening the pool for public use," the spokesman said.
"The school and the department would welcome the opportunity to work together to secure an operator for the pool. The principal has kept local residents who wish to use the pool informed of this process."