Bill Hackney, Fay Harkenss, Frank Harkenss and Len Hackney are fed up with the lack of action down towards fixing the Calliope pool. Photo: Rosie O'Brien/The Observer
Bill Hackney, Fay Harkenss, Frank Harkenss and Len Hackney are fed up with the lack of action down towards fixing the Calliope pool. Photo: Rosie O'Brien/The Observer Rosie O'Brien

Residents call for commitment to fixing water contamination

MERMAID swim group is considering changing its name to Swamp Swimmers because of the Calliope pool's poor water quality.

For Bill Hackney, Len Hackney and Frank and Fay Harkness the thought of kids having a dry summer is heartbreaking.

"Since the September school holidays, the pool quality has gone downhill," Mrs Harkness said.

"Summer is the time for using the town's facilities but, at the moment, the pool's edge is covered in duck poo and the water is so murky it looks like a milk bath."

For six months of the year, annually, the mermaid swim group hires the pool from Calliope State School and the council, but is considering throwing in the towel.

"The club hires it for a certain period and we pay $700 in insurance bills, and $15 a day, only for it to be dysfunctional," Mr Hackney said.

"We need at least five people a day to visit the pool for us to break even, but we're going broke at this stage.

"I used to look after it 10 years ago, and even then it wasn't managed properly and there was algae right through it."

The group and residents are fed up with the lack of ownership.

"I've been onto the Calliope council and they didn't even know anything about it," Mr Hackney said, pointing out that all they really wanted was for someone to take responsibility.

"We've messaged the councillors and no response.

"All we want is acknowledgement that there is a problem and that it will be solved."

Just days ago, Gladstone Regional Council posted on its website that the pool had reopened.

"The Calliope State School Swimming Pool public opening hours have recommenced after being closed on Friday due to fluctuating water quality readings," the post reported.

"The council has resolved the water quality problem, allowing patrons to return to the pool."

The council hires the pool from Calliope State School to provide the service outside school hours.

Mrs Harkness and the swimmers hoped enough locals would unite to get something done and that the new headmaster starting in the new year would bring a solution, and fast.



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