Cr John Stamolis calls for investigation into Balmain’s Dawn Fraser Baths

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There are renewed calls for a probe into why one of Sydney’s most prized public pools closed up shop for two years after a series of restoration bungles.

The saga at Balmain’s Dawn Fraser Baths, an icon on the inner west harbour, has seen staff previously referred to the Auditor General by their own mayor and resulted in a council general manager quitting over the furore.

Now independent councillor John Stamolis has issued a “please explain” to the council over the extended delay.

Thousands of locals successfully campaigned for the state government to offer a grant to save the pool. Picture: AAP/Flavio Brancaleone

Cr Stamolis is moving a motion at a council meeting next month to call for an investigation into the costs and reasons why the Balmain institution sat behind closed gates for almost two years.

“I’m asking these questions to make them public,” Cr Stamolis said.

“Our community were greatly impacted with two seasons of swimming lost as well as a host of other activities that were not able to be done for two years.

“We were promised 10 to 12 months and 24 months later we’re still talking about this. Look at Telstra Square (in Balmain) two years to build the smallest square in Australia, what is going on there.”

The baths are home to the oldest swimming club in Australia. Picture: AAP/Jordan Shields

Last week Inner West Council said it had to undergo $8 million worth of works after it discovered there were no foundations to one side of the pavilion among other structural issues it had not anticipated.

That coupled with other discoveries like the risk of flooding due to rising sea levels meant more works had to be completed before it could re-open.

Mayor Darcy Byrne announced last week the pool would re-open when the Greater Sydney lockdown is lifted and entry will be free for the first two weeks.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

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