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Later Start to Outdoor Swimming Pool Season

4 November 2022

The Southern Grampians outdoor swimming pool season will be pushed back due to a lack of lifeguards and the recent flooding events experienced across the region.

The Hamilton Outdoor Pool, which normally opens from the first weekend in November, will start a few weeks later while staff work to undertake important water clean-up and work towards finding solutions to inadequate staffing levels.

Outdoor pools in Penshurst, Glenthompson, Balmoral, Dunkeld and Coleraine will open later in December to patrons while these issues are addressed.

Manager Community and Leisure Services Susannah Milne said the impact on the outdoor pools is unfortunate but necessary to ensure facilities are safe for residents.

“The recent rain events experienced across the region have left us with some clean-up works to make sure the water quality is up to standard for our swimmers,” said Ms Milne.

“We are also working on finding solutions to our staff shortages. While the outdoor pool season will be pushed back, this will ultimately enable staff to ensure safety for patrons.”

Ms Milne said some tough decisions were going to have to be made in relation to operating hours with heavily reduced number of lifeguards available for the season.

“We are facing significant challenges in relation to staffing shortages. A lack of trained lifeguards is something we have been struggling with over the last couple of years which we know is not isolated just to the Southern Grampians but is an issue felt across Victoria,” said Ms Milne.

“Locally, if the numbers don’t increase and increase rapidly, the operating hours of our outer town pools will be impacted heavily due to those high staff shortages.

“We are asking community members to step up, complete the training, sign up as a lifeguard and help ensure these facilities can be enjoyed this summer.

“Lifeguards employed by the Southern Grampians are part of the Council team. With secure working conditions, guaranteed shifts, great pay rates and career progression opportunities – there are many benefits to joining Council.

“If you are new to lifeguarding or if your accreditation has lapsed – get in touch with us and we will help with training to get you out onto the pool deck,” concluded Ms Milne.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Cr David Robertson said local swimming pools were the heart of small communities so would be disappointing for Council to have to resort to reduced opening hours.

“Last year, the outer pools were impacted by a lack of staff and this year will continue in a similar fashion unless we get committed community members who live in our outer townships to put up their hands, step up for training and put back into these communities,” said Cr Robertson.

“Lifeguarding is not only a great summer job but could be the kick starter you need for a new career with Council. There’s still time to complete your training so reach out to Council as this is one way you can contribute to the wellbeing of your fellow residents,” concluded Cr Robertson.

Council will provide more information and updates to the community when pools are ready to open to the public.

For regular updates and to keep up with all the activities during pool season, residents are advised to ‘Like’ the Greater Hamilton Outdoor Swimming Pools page on Facebook. For more information on pool locations and operating hours, head to or contact Council on 5573 0444.

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