McCormack's pools 'cash splash'

THE Nationals’ Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, stunned residents of Ganmain and Ardlethan this week by “stripping off” and leaping into their public swimming pools.
On a sweltering Monday when the temperature reached 38 degrees Celsius, Mr McCormack had board shorts and a rashie underneath his trousers, shirt and tie in readiness to dive into the refreshing water after officially opening the redeveloped pools.
The Liberals and Nationals’ Government contributed $245,000 through its Community Development Grants Program for the two upgrades.
In his speeches, Mr McCormack stressed the importance of public swimming pools to towns in the Riverina and Central West.
“Swimming pools are at the heart of country communities, such as Ganmain and Ardlethan,” Mr McCormack said.
“They are an essential part of the fabric of our communities.”
The openings were among the last duties for Mr McCormack in the electorate while Federal Minister for Small Business before taking on new roles as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Deputy Leader of the House and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC on Wednesday.
Mr McCormack praised Coolamon Shire Council for its support of the Ganmain and Ardlethan communities and said Council had given the towns swimming pools as good as any others found in country NSW.
“I know how important pools are in the everyday lives of people and that is why I was so keen to get this grant for the people of Ganmain and Ardlethan,” Mr McCormack said.
The Ganmain pool ceremony was held first on Monday afternoon before Mr McCormack drove to Ardlethan for its celebrations.
In his address at the opening of the Ganmain pool redevelopment, Coolamon Mayor, Councillor John Seymour, said the pool was built in 1972 on the back of enormous community support.
“As we all know, the community pool is a focal point for children and families during the hot summers within our region,” Councillor Seymour said.
“As there are more and more expectations on councils to provide services to the community, it becomes challenging to finance the infrastructure upgrades necessary at these ageing community pools.
“That is why we were very grateful for the support of the Federal Government through our local Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, with his Community Development Grants Program.
“The result is this magnificent facility that now has new change rooms, kiosk and all new filtration and pumping equipment.”
Ardlethan celebrated not only the opening of upgraded pool facilities but also the 50th anniversary of its pool.
With the help of the Community Development Grant, Council has completely revamped the Ardlethan pool by upgrading the filtration, dosing and pumping equipment and installing solar panels to heat the pool and reduce power costs.
“As a focal point for the community during summer, the pool provides more than just opportunities for social interaction,” Councillor Seymour said at Ardlethan.
“It hosts swimming carnivals, learn-to-swim activities, swimming club, birthday parties or just time to get away from the summer heat with friends.”

Ken Grimson