Thousands sign pool petition

A petition calling on the State Government to commit funding to an indoor pool facility at Traralgon has amassed thousands of signatures and will be tabled in parliament in August.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe, who launched the petition in April, said he had collected more than 3000 signatures, with many more copies of the petition still circulating.

Mr Northe said he was “overwhelmed” by the response and pleased the community had thrown its support behind efforts to obtain funding for the project.

He said the petition demonstrated to the government that building this facility was important to the people of Traralgon.

“It’s pretty difficult for the government to ignore such strong community support for a project,” Mr Northe said.

“The reality is this is much needed. In the eyes of many it’s a crying shame a town with a population of nearly 28,000 people doesn’t have a public heated indoor swimming pool.”

Mr Northe said he would collect, count and collate all the copies of the petition before presenting during the next sitting week of parliament starting on 4 August.

“I think any petition, when you’re talking about thousands of signatures, will force the government to sit up and take notice and that’s the intention of this petition,” Mr Northe said.

As a pre-election promise, the Coalition pledged $9 million towards the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre to be built at the current Traralgon outdoor pool site.

The petition calls for the government to match this pledge.

Latrobe City Council has committed $12 million towards the project in its 10-year plan, but the $30 million facility needs financial support from state and federal governments.