Joint with Senator Don Farrell, Shadow Minister for Sport, and Julie Owens MP, Federal Member for Parramatta.
Labor has dived into the campaign to upgrade the ageing Wentworthville Memorial Swimming Centre, committing $1 million to deliver long overdue upgrades.
Labor can invest in a fair go for all Australians because we have made the tough budget decisions to make multinationals pay their fair share of tax, close tax loopholes used by the top end of town, and we won’t give the big banks a tax cut.
Labor’s funding will help to deliver upgraded facilities like a water play park; two new change rooms for parents and swimmers; a club house; and a communal area.
As recently as 2017, the Liberals’ unelected Council Administrator planned to close Wentworthville Swim Centre and flog the land off to developers - just like the Liberals did to Parramatta pool.
Local Parramatta MP, Julie Owens, said Labor is committed to keeping the pool open and in public hands.
“Wentworthville Pool has been a cornerstone of our community since 1965 - generations of families have kept cool and learned to swim here,” Ms Owens said.
“That’s why Labor will keep it open for the community and why we’re committed to giving it the upgrades it needs to stay open for generations to come.
“Labor has been campaigning against plans to close the pool for a number of years, receiving hundreds of petitions and letters from local community members.
“The Wentworthville pool has overwhelming support from the local community, with 91 per cent of Wenty locals voting to keep the pool open in 2017,” Ms Owens said.
Member for Greenway Michelle Rowland said, “Local pools are crucial for the well-being of residents in Western Sydney, particularly with the growth of high and medium density housing.
“Residents in Girraween, Pendle Hill and Toongabbie always remind me that Wenty Pool is important to them and their families.”
In 2017-18, nearly 250 people drowned in Australian waterways. One in five drownings were people under the age of 25.
“Australians love swimming, but too many young people are growing up without learning sufficient water safety skills,” Ms Rowland said
“Labor’s plan will ensure that local school students continue to have a safe environment to learn to swim and for swimming competitions.”
Swimming is Australia’s leading sport with more than six million Australians participating in swimming and the average Australian visits a public aquatic facility more than four times a year.
Labor’s investments in local community facilities like these help clubs support more Australians to live active, healthy lifestyles. Aquatic facilities create an average of $2.72 million a year in value to the community in improved health outcomes and consequent reductions in health spending and absenteeism.