Tuesday, 7 February 2017
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today welcomed Hunter New England Health’s commitment to fund the required repairs of Armidale’s Hydrotherapy Pool, but says forward planning is needed to ensure the asset will last into the future.
“The Hydrotherapy Pool helps people from across the region who may be suffering from injuries or joint pain – and Hunter New England Health’s promise to reopen the facility as soon as possible is welcome news,” Mr Marshall said.
“Hundreds of people use the facility as a method of impact free exercise. When it re-opens it will benefit users not just from Armidale, but right across the Northern Tablelands.”
Mr Marshall was advised yesterday by HNEH that an engineers report had been received and its recommendations to permanently resolve the water quality issues adopted.
“Hunter New England Health has given a verbal commitment to start work on the pool immediately, using money from its capital works budget,” he said.
It is understood a new UV light filtration system will need to be purchased and installed to ensure quality without over-chlorinating the water. This will put any health concerns to rest.
“I’ll continue to keep the pressure on HNEH to ensure the necessary work is completed quickly to resolve the water quality issues, allowing the community back in the water as soon as possible,” he said.
Once the pool is operational again, Mr Marshall said the local community should start planning for a new, modern and larger hydrotherapy pool.
“Like any structure, the hydrotherapy pool has a limited lifespan and it’s served the community well. These repairs will extend that – but we need to start planning a successor to the aquatic rehab centre. It’s likely that this will not be the last challenge to hit the facility, and the benefits of a new pool should be considered,” he said.
“I’ve been in discussions with a number of the users and other stakeholders and am encouraging them to form a working party to plan the location and scope of a new pool.”
Initial funding for the hydrotherapy pool was raised by the Armidale Lions Club 38 years ago. Since then, Hunter New England Health has been responsible for its upkeep.