A pool that’s not in deep water

The Mutitjulu community at Uluru (Ayers Rock) has a community pool with a difference, namely secure operational funding, says David Ross, director of the Central Land Council.

 

An Aboriginals Benefit Account grant of $3m and $100,000 from the traditional owners’ rent money funded the construction of the pool, and the community has $1.5m of their own money to operate the pool until 2017.

 

“At a time when other remote community pools are closing because governments fail to fund them, Mutitjulu have an experienced professional organisation managing the pool in consultation with a community committee,” says Mr Ross in a media release.

 

The pool was opened yesterday with an inma (traditional song and dance), acrobatics by local youth, the Tjitji Ninja, and the desert sounds of the Tjintu Band.

 

CASA Leisure will employ and train local staff and collaborate with local schools to implement a “yes school – yes pool” policy.

 

Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) Projects project managed the construction and design of the pool using the latest energy and water efficiency technologies, in line with a stringent environmental impact assessment.

 

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Joint Management and Parks Australia gave permission for the project in 2010, once they were satisfied that there was sufficient power and water, it would not damage the sensitive desert environment and would be well managed into the future.

 

“It’s taken this long because we’ve been meticulous in how we’ve worked with traditional owners, Parks Australia and governments,” said Mr Ross.

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