Wednesday, 19 July 2017
MP invites group to plan new hydrotherapy facility
THE hydrotherapy pool is ‘core business’ for Armidale, even if it isn’t for Hunter New England Health, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said today, firing back at comments yesterday by the health service, which played down the role of the pool and cast doubt over its future.
The hydrotherapy pool has been closed for the last six months undergoing repairs and on the eve of its re-opening on Monday (24 July), the frustrated local MP said health service officials should be reassuring the community, not provoking locals with inflammatory remarks.
“I was astounded with the comments I read yesterday,” he said. “It’s great news that the almost 40-year-old hydrotherapy pool has been brought back up to scratch and will be open again to the public next week.
“While the health service has a view about a hydrotherapy pool not being ‘core business’ for them, a facility like this is definitely core business and vital to the local community.”
Mr Marshall has been in discussions with a number of passionate locals about beginning the process of planning and constructing a new and larger hydrotherapy pool in Armidale, away from the hospital.
“No one knows how much longer the existing pool will last, so it makes a lot of sense to look toward the future and ensure that Armidale always has a hydrotherapy pool for the community,” he said.
“I have today written to Armidale Regional Council, Armidale Lions Club (which had the original pool built) and a number of passionate hydrotherapy pool users and volunteers inviting them to be part of a working party to design and choose a location for Armidale’s new hydrotherapy pool.
“I fully support the construction of a new hydrotherapy pool. This project has to be driven by the community and a working party will be able to bring everyone’s views together, look at other pools across the state and design new pool and its location.”
Mr Marshall hopes to convene the first meeting of the working party in the next few weeks. He has invited former councillor and hydrotherapy pool supervisor Jenny Bailey to head the group.