Swimmers to burn up new pool

ROCKHAMPTON swimmers will be able to carry on splashing through the coming winter after all in the city's new $5 million heated pool.

Doubts were raised last week when it was revealed the Southside pool complex needed a power upgrade to ensure there was enough electricity to heat the 10 lane, 50 metre pool to a constant 28C.

But Bill Byrne, the Labor Party candidate for Rockhampton, says he's confident the power can be boosted before April to ensure the massive investment in new equipment does not go to waste.

Mr Byrne said he held talks with Mayor Brad Carter and Ergon Energy when he was made aware of the power shortage.

He believes swimming clubs and other stakeholders will be told today that a solution will be found.

"I have a long involvement with this project and know how important it is to our local community," said Mr Byrne.

"I was incredulous when I heard that the pool might have to be closed during the winter.

"There is no point in building something like this if you can't use it.

" Cr Carter has assured me he will be working closely with the project planners to ensure remaining energy requirements are identified as quickly as possible."

Mr Byrne said he had also made his views clear on the issue of fees for using the pool and the question of affordability.

"You don't invest $5 million of public money and then set a fees structure which restricts its usage," he said.

The new pool, the centrepiece of a $17 million refurbishment, was due to open at the weekend but remains closed.