Monday, November 28, 2022

Lifeguard shortage to impact final weeks of outdoor pool season

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Due to lifeguard staffing issues, operating hours at Council’s outdoor swimming pools in Castlemaine, Harcourt, Maldon and Newstead will be adjusted for the remaining four weeks of the pool season.

Maldon swimming pool
Maldon Swimming Pool. Photo courtesy Tarrangower Times.

Changes to hours of operation will be in place from Monday 14 February to the end of the pool season on Sunday 13 March.

Details of revised pool opening hours are:

Weekends – all outdoor pools in Castlemaine, Harcourt, Maldon and Newstead to open as per normal operating hours.

Weekdays – each outdoor pool will be open at least two weekdays, allowing for programming such as Aqua Aerobics and lap swimming to take place.

In Maldon the aqua aerobics sessions will remain on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6pm but instead of lap swimming sessions there’ll be a lap lane in the pool at all times.

Maldon Swimming Pool will still have the end-of-season pool party on Sunday 27 February with lots of fun and food.

Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Acting Manager of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, Karen Evennett said the decision to adjust pool opening hours was unfortunate but necessary, given the current lifeguard staffing challenges experienced by our contract partner YMCA Victoria.

“Our outdoor swimming pools are much-loved and well-used by our communities, and we’ve been working in partnership with YMCA Victoria to ensure pool opening hours remain unchanged this year,” said Ms Evennett.

“Unfortunately there’s a lack of available trained lifeguards in the region, which is also reflected in the wider aquatic and recreation industry at the moment.

“Staff levels have been reduced due to COVID-19, and now as schools and universities return, many of our existing staff are unavailable to work.”

“Water safety is always our highest priority, and we understand the expectation from our community for pools to be open as normal.

“The reality is that there isn’t enough staff to operate seven days a week across all townships, and to do so safely,” said Ms Evennett.

Council is encouraging community members with the relevant lifeguard qualifications who are interested in supporting the shire’s outdoor swimming pools to stay open to contact Council’s contract partner YMCA Victoria on 5446 9222 or to apply directly here adr.to/2uv3g.

To view the adjusted timetable of outdoor pool opening hours, visit mountalexanderpools.com.au.

Tarrangower Times 18 February 2022

This article appeared in the Tarrangower Times, 18 February 2022.

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