Thursday, 19 October 2023

Questions without notice and ministers statements

Council swimming pools


Council swimming pools

Rikkie-Lee TYRRELL (Northern Victoria) (12:20): (315) My question today is for the minister representing the Minister for Community Sport. Public swimming pools in our regional areas are major community hubs during summer. With projected power outages and the hottest summer in years, communities will no doubt be highly dependent on these within the next eight weeks. A great many of these pools have failed to receive any investment for rejuvenation in decades. In fact some of these were built in the 1960s and have received little more than basic maintenance since. Thankfully they were constructed to the highest of standards at the time. I understand that in the current economic climate these are not likely to be the government’s top priority. However, there is a looming major upgrade expense on the horizon if we do not start to address this issue. Is there a plan in place to upgrade these vital pieces of community infrastructure?

Gayle TIERNEY (Western Victoria – Minister for Skills and TAFE, Minister for Regional Development) (12:21): I thank the member for her question for the Minister for Community Sport. The first thing I would say is that swimming pools are council owned, and obviously in terms of their management it is a council matter, unless of course councils come to us with a specific precinct project. So I am sure that that will be contained within the answer that the Minister for Community Sport will provide you, and she will do that within the standing orders requirements.

Rikkie-Lee TYRRELL (Northern Victoria) (12:22): My supplementary follows on from that reply. Can the minister initiate a discussion with councils to formulate a strategy for the future?

Gayle TIERNEY (Western Victoria – Minister for Skills and TAFE, Minister for Regional Development) (12:22): Can I say that the discussions that the government is already having are in relation to pools that might have been damaged as a result of the floods, and I think that that is the correct priority at the moment. But I am sure that the minister will respond in a more fulsome way in respect of the issue that you raise.