Community sees red over Myuna Bay closure
1st April 2019
Source: ABC Online | By: Giselle Wakatama and Liz Farquhar | Posted: April , 2019
The fallout is continuing from the sudden closure of a New South Wales Office of Sport and Recreation centre, south of Newcastle.
On Friday, the State Government announced it was closing the Myuna Bay Sport and Recreation Centre due to fears a nearby coal ash dam could pose a risk in the event of an earthquake.
The owner of the ash dam and Eraring Power Station, Origin Energy, said it would compensate the Government and help it find a site for relocation.
Troy Wright from the Public Service Association, which represents the 20 staff at Myuna Bay, said the decision had blindsided people.
"It's very curious timing, it's occurred five days after an election," Mr Wright said.
Local MP outraged
The closure came without warning and forced scores of Australian and New Zealand competitors at an international waterski event off the site within hours of the announcement.
President of the Myuna Bay Water Ski Club Peter Atkinson said the under 21s tournament between Australia and New Zealand has been canned midway through and about 100 people were told to be off the site by 8:00pm yesterday.
"They had to find emergency accommodation, we had to get everything off site, we don't even know when we can get back on site. Everybody is just gutted."
The waterski club said it would seek compensation.
New South Wales Labor said it had been informed trucks had arrived on site today to dismantle the centre, which had operated as a school camp for decades.
The independent Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper said he was outraged.
"Almost overnight, the centre is being closed down," Mr Piper said.
"What is it that Origin isn't telling us, and why has the Office of Sport made such a decision when the Government is still in caretaker mode?
"We should not be losing a valued community facility due to the operational needs of a power station which was built many years after the Sport and Recreation centre was built."
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