“Following advice received from the LG Mutual Liability Scheme, and considering the impact that increased operational requirements to operate during the current State-wide COVID-19 restrictions will have on our ratepayers, we have made the difficult decision to delay the reopening of the Wading Pool until these restrictions further ease,” Mr Cowley said.
“The Tusmore Wading Pool is a much loved and favourite get-together destination for friends and families from across Adelaide, and it is because of this high demand that Council would not be able to ensure that restrictions can be obeyed without a significant change in how visitors can use the pool,” Mr Cowley said.
The Wading Pool will attract gatherings in an unsupervised area and despite social distancing signs or warnings, the nature of the wading pool is that restrictions can’t be complied with at an unsupervised wading pool while SA is still subject to COVID-19 restrictions
Mr Cowley said that previously the Wading Pool has seen days where over two hundred people are in the pool; in an area that equates to the size of approximately one and a half tennis courts.
“On a hot day, and especially during weekends and school holidays, we have seen situations where it is standing room only with parents and toddlers in the Wading Pool,” Mr Cowley said.
Under normal operating circumstances, the Wading Pool is available for unrestricted use.
Current COVID-19 directions require social distancing of 1 person per 2sqm is to be observed. Therefore to reopen and comply with current restrictions:
- The Wading Pool would need to be fenced reducing the community’s unrestricted access and to control user numbers;
- A COVID Marshal and extra staffing would be required to manage the site and prevent overcrowding during limited opening hours;
- All at significant cost to the City of Burnside ratepayers.
The decision to delay the reopening was based on managing the expectations of the community, complying with current COVID-19 directions, and to remove an additional cost burden on ratepayers.
“We will delay the reopening of the Wading Pool until COVID-19 restrictions are eased so that our community can enjoy the relaxed and fun atmosphere of the park and the pool in the way that they are accustomed to,” Mr Cowley said. “Reopening this non-essential service under current social distancing restrictions can only be achieved with a significant cost burden on our ratepayers”.
This decision will be reviewed should COVID-19 directions change and in particular if restrictions around social distancing are relaxed.
The George Bolton Swimming Centre, located in Hazelwood Park, is open with patron numbers limited to 200. Visitors are required to book online at burnside.sa.gov.au to reserve a 3 hour session for recreation swimming, or a 1.5 hrs session for lap swimming.