Albury Wodonga Health has finished the first stage of works to upgrade its hydrotherapy pool but a user group remains worried the facility may not reopen for months.
NSW government funding of $80,000 announced last month made repairs possible for the Albury hospital’s ageing pool, which closed in June in a move that surprised and angered user groups and community members.
An Albury Wodonga Health spokeswoman said this week the specifications for the work had been developed, with the tender process to come.
She confirmed the three-month timetable flagged last month to complete the works remained in place.
Julie Ridley, of Joint And Muscle support group, said people were struggling to find accessible hydrotherapy without the Albury pool.
“The problems are still there,” she said.
“If the tenders don’t come back for the hydrotherapy pool at Albury hospital before Christmas, then they close for a month over Christmas.
“We’re looking at being without a pool for about seven months and we’re all seizing up, everyone who used the pool used it for a reason.”
Ms Ridley compared the Albury situation with Wangaratta, where a second hydrotherapy pool was planned as part of a wider aquatics project.
“Wang’s smaller than Albury-Wodonga and they’re going to have two and at the moment Albury-Wodonga don’t have any,” she said.
“There’s 500 people that are screaming for a pool at the moment of the right temperature and proper access.”
A Wangaratta Council spokesman said expressions of interest for the aquatics project closed last week, with the tender expected before the end of the year, construction to start next year and completion due in 2021.
The new hydrotherapy pool will measure 17 metres by 12 metres, be heated to 35 degrees and include a ramp entry at the shallow end and a disabled hoist.
Member for Albury Greg Aplin is on leave but a spokesman confirmed Albury Wodonga Health had now received the NSW government funding.
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