Risk of death rated ‘high’ at Busselton swimming pool

The risk of death, drowning or serious injury at Busselton’s public swimming pool has been rated as “high”.

A recent report found council funding of the Geographe Leisure Centre was “significantly lower” than that provided by other councils to similar recreation centres.

The City of Busselton council reports in its latest meeting agenda that, as a result, the centre provides only one lifeguard for every 100 patrons, increasing the likelihood of serious injury because of the lack of supervision.

Councillors have been presented with four options to reduce operating costs at the centre, which will allow additional funds to be allocated to pool safety strategies. They are set to consider the options on September 28.

Under one of the options, extra lifeguards would be deployed during peak periods.

“This option provides a minimum of two lifeguards on pool deck at all times the GLC pools are open during predetermined high patronage and/or predetermined high risk conditions and or usage,” the council agenda said.

“To reduce the risk further would require [closure] of the outdoor pool during periods of low usage.

“If this option was preferred the [sic] it would reduce the risk rating from high 18 to medium 10 with the consequences remaining major and the likelihood reducing to rare during the majority of times the pools are open. During reduced periods of inadequate supervision the risk rating will remain high.”

An overspend of $87,783 of the centre’s budgeted net operating position for 2016/17 is recommended for this to be achieved.

If approved, additional lifeguards will be provided in the next pool staffing roster.

The report said similar centres in other areas had net operating positions of about $1.1 million per year, but the Geographe Leisure Centre’s net operation position was about $700,000.

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