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Adaminaby Swimming Pool and Precinct

Heating and upgrading our pool and its precinct

UPDATE 22 May 2023

Council has committed funds for upgrades including solar heating for the pool. We look forward to working with Council to have these completed before opening for the 2023/2024 season.


Following on from years of requests by the Adaminaby community, MAPS is advocating for simple, effective, and relatively inexpensive upgrades that will significantly improve our use and enjoyment of the Adaminaby pool for our community and visitors, and for this to be done before it opens again in Spring 2023.

What do you think? Take our MAPS quick survey on the pool (perhaps the first of many...)

Commitment of $50,000 – March 2023

The Adaminaby community now has a public commitment by Labour member for the Monaro, Steve Whan, to provide up to $50,000 for solar heating and other upgrades to the Adaminaby pool. We look forward to being part of discussions with Steve Whan, the Snowy Monaro Shire Council, and other stakeholders about improving the pool for community use and further developing this essential Adaminaby amenity.

Let's make our pool and its precinct as accessible and enjoyable as possible. Here's what we are thinking: heating, opening hours, physical access, BBQ area, simply precinct improvements (fencing and screening changes), and shade.

Some history....

Originally paid for through community fundraising, money from the local shire council, and a 25% contribution from Snowy 1.0 (NSW Ministry of Public Works), our swimming pool is a much loved and essential community amenity. It has been fundamental to Adaminaby children and others learning life-saving skills for almost 60 years, and is a happy meeting place enjoyed in the Summer months by children, families, community members and visitors.  The next nearest swimming pool is in Cooma, 55km away.

We understand the original campaign to build the pool was fuelled by a tragic local drowning. In 2016 the pool was under threat of closure but this was thankfully stopped by Adaminaby community action. Pools are essential safety infrastructure.

Many many pools in Australia were built in the 1960s, and are in need of upgrades. Have a look at the recent Royal Life Saving Association Report on the State of Australia's Aquatic infrastructure. It highlights both the incontrovertible evidence supporting the importance of swimming pools, and the challenges faced by those caring for aging pools. However, there are some simple and cost-effective improvements that will greatly increase the use and enjoyment of our pool for the whole community and its visitors.

Lots of communities are facing the same challenges. Some have very similar demographics. Khancoban, for example, has almost identical demographics to Adaminaby (size, median age etc) and was successful in a $685,000 upgrade in 2017. It is about to receive its Stage 2 upgrades in Winter 2023. Maybe Adaminaby wants to look at upgrading the whole pool precinct in the future? What do you think?

We'd love to hear from you! Take our quick survey or contact us to let us know your ideas and thoughts.

Heating - Adaminaby Community has been calling for heating in our pool for years!

Adaminaby Swimming Pool is the highest outdoor public pool in Australia. However, while all other small town outdoor pools around us (at lower elevations!) have either already had solar heating installed (i.e Berridale, Bombala, Tumberumba, Tumut, Adelong) or are about to have this upgrade (Khancoban, Batlow), Adaminaby remains without heating.  We love our pool but BRRRRR it can be cold! Solar heating for the pool will ensure greater use and enjoyment by the Adaminaby community and visitors, longer use at each visit, and will extend its opening season.

Solar heating for Adaminaby pool was quoted in March 2023 by the preferred supplier at $20,000. Solar heating is quick to install. Well-established advantages are:

  • a good solar heating system will have minimal running costs (apart from circulation pump)

  • it doesn't require ongoing maintenance

  • the savings in running costs when compare to gas and electric heaters provide a rapid return on capital expenditure, meaing it pays for itself many times over during its life

  • its an energy transfer system that has no negative effects on the environment

Opening Hours

Many people have asked for the pool to be open for longer periods in the day so that on the long hot Summer days (yes, we do have them!) people can swim before and after work.

Doing exactly that, Snowy Valley Shire pools have general public (life guarded) opening hours at peak times, AND offer card-operated after-hours access. Individuals and groups can also book the pools. We think this could be an excellent solution to make Adaminaby Pool more accessible for community and visitors. What do you think?

Physical access

Adaminaby pool is almost 60 years old. Its an old style design that doesn't cater for whole-of-community access. We will be learning from pool experts about what could be done easily to improve its physical access. A hand rail? Easier stairs access? Lets find out!

BBQ Area

Adaminaby has a small BBQ area by the Big Trout adjacent to the highway which caters for passing traffic. It is not community-centred and is not a safe place for kids. A BBQ area in the pool precinct would encourage greater pool use and provide a fantastic venue for families and friends to come together. We are also advocating for a BBQ area in Seymour Park (see its project page).

Simple precinct improvements (fencing and screening changes, more shade?)

The pool precinct is large and has wonderful open spaces that the kids and families like to use for playing games and sun bathing. However, a large amount of the grassed area has been cut off from the pool 'zone' by high screening fence on the town side. We are not sure why this is - some say it is a windbreak, others that it might be privacy screening. If you know, let us know! If it was removed, the whole area would be improved and there would be more open space for people to meet, play, sunbathe etc. Note that there are no communal outdoor spaces in Adaminaby to do this and the pool precinct is perfect!

Currently the pool perimeter fence is an old chainlink and barbed wire number. It doesn't look that great. How about replace it with a nice new fence with a card operated gate facility (see above)?

There's one area of shade on the grassed area, and a small section near the toddler pool. On the really hot days (yes people, we do have them!) shade across at least half the toddler pool is essential. The UV at this altitude is extreme, and shade is essential for safe use of this open area.

If you have ideas on all of the above, or more - let us know!

And in case you are interested, here's what the recent Royal Life Saving Association Report mentioned above says on the importance of swimming pools:

There are a multitude of health, social and economic benefits that are attributable to the availability of an aquatic facility, including the opportunities they providefor children and adults to learn essential swimming and water safety skills, the contributionto healthier lifestyles and, importantly, the avenues they provide for social connections.A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Royal Life Saving (RLS)found that the aquatic industry contributes $9.1 billion annually in health, social and economic benefits to Australia [3]. Another joint report by RLS and Swinburne University of Technology found that aquatic facilities and their programs play a critical role in creating social connections and reducing social isolation for at- risk community members [5].

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