Pool closures slammed

THE Wran Leisure and Aquatic Centre will be closed as part of a new 15-year strategic plan which will also see new leisure and aquatic facilities built at Revesby and Canterbury, a new water splash park at Roberts Park and upgrades to the Birrong and Roselands centres.

Mayor Khal Asfour said the city’s leisure and aquatic facilities were built decades ago, and as they stand, are outdated and place a significant financial burden on the council to maintain them.
POOL users have slammed a move to close the Wran Leisure Centre at Villawood under a new strategic plan adopted by the City of Canterbury Bankstown last week.
Councillor Alex Kuskoff unsuccessfully attempted to amend the motion, calling on the Wran to stay open and for the council to “explore options to revitalise the facility and reduce operating costs”.
Cr Kuskoff said it was a “very disappointing” outcome for the residents of Villawood and the users of the Wran.
“Surely the council could have found the money to keep this facility operational and functional,” he said.
Also condemning the closure, State MP for Bankstown, Tania Mihailuk, said it validated fears surrounding the 2016 council amalgamations about the loss of existing community facilities.
“The council has refused to maintain the only aquatic facility accessible by one of our most disadvantaged communities, despite strong opposition by many locals and community groups,” she said.
Villawood resident Carol Fulton said communities were promised there would be no dramatic changes within the new merged council zones and she felt “let down” by the decision.
“For a long time, there has only been minimum maintenance completed, so no wonder attendance has dropped in past years,” she said.
Others opposed to the closure also raised concerns about the loss of an accessible facility which was well used by families with disabled children and the elderly.
However Mayor Khal Asfour said the plan was developed following a three-year independent review of the City’s leisure and aquatic facilities, which included extensive community consultation.
“These decisions were not made lightly and were based on current usage data and the unsustainable costs being met by ratepayers each year,” he said.
The plan will also include new leisure and aquatic facilities at Revesby and Canterbury; upgrading existing Birrong and Roselands Leisure and Aquatic Centres; and a new water splash park and enhanced play space will be constructed at Roberts Park, closing Greenacre Leisure and Aquatic Centre.