Southern Grampians Shire Council Logo
Skip Links

Changes to outdoor swimming pool opening hours

16 December 2022

Southern Grampians Shire Council endorsed the recommendation to alter opening hours for the 2022-2023 Outdoor Pool Season at Wednesday’s Council Meeting to address lifeguard shortages across the region.

Changes will be made to the early morning swim schedule as well as operating hours at Penshurst and Glenthompson pools.

Early morning swimming will be offered two days a week at Hamilton, on Monday and Thursday morning, and Coleraine, open Tuesday and Friday.

Glenthompson and Penshurst pools will adopt a rotational timetable which will see Glenthompson open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and Penshurst open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (weather dependant).

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor David Robertson said the changes to the outer township pools were necessary due to lack of available lifeguards.

“These changes have been implemented as a way to combat the lack of available lifeguards we are currently facing across the Southern Grampians to still enable all of our outdoor pools to open safely for community members,” said Cr Robertson.

“Despite undertaking a significant recruitment campaign to employ lifeguards, we are sitting at approximately 55% of the required level to ensure all pools can open as per the Outdoor Pools Policy.

“For the current season we now have 38 lifeguards on the books which is down from 47 last year. We need 60 to be able to open all pools to the previous hours of operation and in line with the current Outdoor Pools Policy so we believe this is the best solution to ensure residents are still able to attend a pool in their township.

“While Glenthompson and Penshurst will now open on a rotational basis, if we can increase the overall number of lifeguards, we will endeavour to open these locations as close to regular operating hours as we can. However, this is wholly dependent upon the recruitment of more lifeguards.

“The difficult decision on how to reduce operating hours was based on Glenthompson and Penshurst having been identified as the two lowest attended pools within the Southern Grampians, along with proximity to Dunkeld.

“We know the lack of lifeguards is not just isolated here but is an industry and also state wide issue. In the lead up to the 2022/23 season, we have, and will continue to push to recruit and also to help facilitate those needing training to get them out to our swimming pools,” concluded Cr Robertson.

Residents interested in undertaking lifeguard training courses or becoming a qualified lifeguard, can get in touch with Council on 5573 0444 to discuss opportunities.

Alongside these proposed changes, strategic discussion regarding future direction of operations of the outdoor pools for the 2023/24 season and review of the Operations Policy will be undertaken.

The Hamilton Outdoor Swimming Pool opened to the public on 17 November, with Balmoral, Dunkeld and Coleraine following in December. Penshurst and Glenthompson are set to open (weather permitting) next week.

Powered by