ON THE STREETS: People in Childers protesting the State Government’s decision to not to proceed with a hydrotherapy pool project in March.
ON THE STREETS: People in Childers protesting the State Government’s decision to not to proceed with a hydrotherapy pool project in March. Matthew Mcinerney

People power in Childers pool protest

A SEA of blue washed down the Bruce Hwy as the Childers community rallied to deliver Health Minister Cameron Dick a simple message.

"Give us our hydrotherapy pool".

The group started with about 20 to 30 people at the Isis Club but swelled as the procession made its way to Isis War Memorial Swimming Pool.

Blue balloons hung from Churchill St storefronts in support of the march, which was primarily organised by Isis District Residents and Ratepayers Association.

IDRRA president John van Barneveld was happy with the turnout, which he estimated was "about the 100 mark" by the time it reached the pool, and hoped the group made enough noise to catch Mr Dick's attention.

"Whether it was allocated or not, the money is there for it and they've taken it away from us," Mr van Barneveld said.

"I can see why they want to save money," he said.

"They've been told the debt was all their fault so they're doing whatever they can."

Burnett MP Stephen Bennett and then-Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced $300,000 for the pool on January 12, before the LNP's election defeat had Labor take power.

Mr Dick told the NewsMail the project was not funded earlier this month and would therefore not proceed.

Mr van Barneveld vowed to keep the pressure on the Palaszczuk Government as Mr Bennett voiced his disappointment in Labor's decision.

"I'm absolutely excited the community's passion for the pool remains," Mr Bennett said.

"Over the last few years I've heard this is what the town needs and once savings were found we allocated that to the project," he said.

"I'm extremely disappointed this is the result of a political get-square."

After both Mr Bennett and Mr van Barneveld addressed the crowd IDRRA member Eve Voysey praised Childers resident Patricia Henrickson, who delivered "six blue balloons to every business" to decorate the street.

Former Bundaberg MP Jack Dempsey was among the throng of supporters, and said the benefits in "cost of travel and quality of life" made up for a $300,000 outlay.



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