Western Australian Housing Minister Peter Tinley today announced the formal opening of the Balgo community swimming pool and facilities.
The new pool is part of a 2017 election commitment of $15.53 million to construct and provide operational funding for two pools in the Kimberley at Balgo and Kalumburu.
Both projects have seen the construction of a 25 metre six-lane pool, a toddler pool, ablution buildings, a home for the swimming pool manager and landscaping work. They also include beach entry for people with disability.
Swimming pools provide a range of benefits for communities like Balgo and Kalumburu including improved health, education and social outcomes as well as training and employment opportunities.
During its construction phase the Balgo pool provided regional and remote employment opportunities for 17 Aboriginal workers, including eight apprentices, and since its completion has attracted 3,500 recreational visits each month.
Work commenced on the Balgo pool and facilities in September 2018 and the project was completed on March 29, 2019 at a cost of $7 million.
Site works for the Kalumburu pool started in May 2019 and concluded in December 2019 at a total cost of $6.6 million.
The two new pools are the seventh and eighth to be built by the Department of Communities in regional WA.
The Royal Life Saving Society of WA (RLSSWA) manages the day-to-day operations of the pools through the Department of Communities.
RLSSWA programs include swimming lessons, swimming carnivals and lifesaving training for the communities.
As stated by Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
“Since the Balgo pool opened to the public, clinic staff have noted an improvement in general health and wellbeing.
“The local school has also observed an improvement in the health and wellness of children, and importantly, the pools provide a great incentive to get kids to attend school and encourage good behaviour.
“Students from the local school visit the pool four days a week, with numbers ranging from 30 to 60 children. I was particularly impressed to hear that school attendance has almost tripled since the pool opened.
“The McGowan Government has a focus on providing regional employment opportunities and I am pleased to report the Balgo project gave 17 workers – including eight apprentices – work and training.
“The recently completed Kalumburu pool provided the same opportunities for 33 Aboriginal employees and one apprentice.”
Minister’s office – 6552 5300