My parents had a long-term involvement with the state education department in both the management of Wallaroo Swimming Club, and the management and delivery of Term Time and Vacation Swimming classes in Wallaroo. Indeed, both my parents learned to swim in Wallaroo, competed in carnivals in Wallaroo and ensured myself and my siblings attended swimming lessons from beginners through to bronze medallion and above.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the education department’s January Vacation Swimming Program attracted more than 400 children each year, holidaymakers and locals. Numbers have dwindled to fewer than 120. I can only imagine the roll-on effect on the town and the drop in cashflow from holidaymakers.
Until now, I have continued to vacation at Wallaroo, again based around the Wallaroo swimming jetty and beach facilities for the enjoyment and water safety of my two children. I am saddened to have seen the deterioration and removal of the swimming jetty and the subsequent failed project attempts to replace/update swimming facilities.
Along with my friendship group, I have persevered with the beach-based swimming program for my two daughters in recent years despite the poor facilities. But I’m now faced with the difficult decision to seek an alternative vacation location as my daughters, aged 11 and 12, need deep water and jetty-based facilities to progress their swimming skills. These cannot be delivered with current facilities at Wallaroo.
Wallaroo is growing, and it is incumbent on local and state governments to maximise the recreational facilities available in the town. Copper Coast Council should make every effort to attract holidaymakers and future residential expansion to support the local economy, including building suitable swimming facilities. Locals need a safe and secure jetty-based swimming facility.
Nicolle Davis, Para Hills