Win-win on hydrotherapy pool

IT seems like a win-win situation for all concerned after Monday’s meeting between a three hydrotherapy pool advocates and some Gympie Regional councillors.
The precursor to the meeting was the closing down of the Blue Care hydrotherapy pool and the need for Gympie to have such a facility.
Speaking about the pool, on behalf of the Gympie Special School, physiotherapist Anita Femiano said many students are in desperate need of it and that funding of up to $500,000 could be applied for through the Smart School Subsidy Scheme (SSSS).
“The project doesn’t have to be on school grounds to be eligible for funding,” she said.
“We looked to fit a hydrotherapy pool at the school but the grounds are too small and it would take up too much of the oval.
“We also want the pool to be for community use and there would be no parking available and the community would not have access to the pool during school hours.”
Ms Femiano said the ideal site for the proposed pool would be at the bottom of Tozer Park Road, opposite the Gympie State High School as the students from the Special School could be walked to the facility, eliminating the need to organise a bus.
The site also offers “plenty of parking”.
Gympie Regional Mayor Ron Dyne agrees there is a need for a hydrotherapy pool, saying after the meeting that protagonists were “all working off the same music sheet”.
“I understand that a hydrotherapy pool is a valuable asset to the community and would be developed in conjunction with an aquatic centre.”
He said everything would depend on the feasibility study and being ready once funding was approved.
“In this day and age, to get funding backing things have to be shovel ready,” he said.
The Tozer Park Road block, formerly a council depot, has long been mooted as the site for an aquatic centre.
Ms Femiano, along with Sandi Cohen and Winn Hick, met with councillors Dyne, Perrett, Friske and Walker for what was a “positive meeting” that moved the project forward.
As a community hydrotherapy pool, the school would partner with other groups and service clubs to see the project to fruition.
“The end result is that council is going to talk to the next community services meeting with a proposal to release funds to do a feasibility study for the whole aquatic centre.
“Council will get back to us in February.”
Ms Femiano said the delegation was happy with the outcome of the meeting with Cr Dyne.
“We’ve pinned them down to something in the here and now and not the never, never.
“Of the 18 people (involved with pushing the hydrotherapy pool), 10 are going to form a steering committee.”
That committee has until April to get an application in for SSSS funding.
“We’ll go on a pool crawl and make sure we’re getting the best for the money we’ve got and meets the needs of the community.”

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