Council cools on winter pool as gas prices heat up

Rising gas prices has resulted in a Victorian council shutting a community pool during winter because it can't afford to keep heating it.

Despite getting $167,000 a year from the local council, the Bendigo East pool committee says running a gas-heated pool has become too costly.   

Both the committee and City of Bendigo staff considered lowering pool temperatures and reducing operating hours, but the changes were not enough to impact yearly costs.

The pool will close for the winter season on April 12, with city staff using the coming months to plan the next summer season. 

Lifeguards and pool staff will be supported in finding alternative work within the winter months.

Patrons can have their season passes honoured at the Faith Leech Aquatic Centre or refunded. 

But in Albury, the city recently endorsed an ongoing extension to its operations, with the Albury Swim Centre running until June.

Strong visitation levels prompted the council’s extension of the 2023/24 swim season at reduced operating hours, following successful trial data from the previous year. 

Albury City mayor Kylie King said community members advocated for year-round access to aquatic facilities, which will cost about $328,000 per year to run. 

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