ONE of the leading figures in the push for an indoor pool at the Orange Aquatic Centre has labelled the potential snub by the city’s primary schools a “great shame.”
Swimfit member Jenny Hazelton said the idea behind the 25-metre indoor pool was to provide Orange with a facility everyone in the community would be able to utilise all year.
But the entry cost associated looks set to derail that vision.
Deemed to be comparable with similar facilities across the state, the Orange Aquatic Centre has posted an entry fee of $4 per child, with Orange City Council set to provide a 10 per cent discount for a booking of 10 or more people.
However, it is simply too much for Orange’s primary schools to justify the use of the new pool, according to department of education spokesman Grant Hatch.
Ms Hazelton was left shocked.
“One of the main reasons we pushed to have the indoor pool was so children would have a safe, friendly environment to learn to swim in all-year round,” Ms Hazelton said.
“We also wanted an easily-accessible community-based facility that’ll give everyone the chance to swim.”
Ms Hazelton stressed the cost of entry was based on figures given to council by an advisory board.
It has nothing to do with Swimfit.
She said at the end of the day, the facility was there to improve the level at which Orange’s children could swim.
The fact they are now able to do it 365 days a year at the city’s aquatic centre was a great asset for Orange.
“We want to improve the level at which children can swim to save their lives,” she said.
“Obviously (pricing) is something council has looked at.”