The power of social media has prevailed in Mernda, with Whittlesea council agreeing to consider building a 50-metre pool in the suburb.
The council has faced considerable backlash from residents in the past month over its plans for the proposed Mernda aquatic centre.
At its February 12 meeting, the council decided to seek business cases on building an aquatic centre with and without a 25-metre lap pool.
At the time, the council said it could not afford to build a 50-metre pool.
Residents took to social media to slam the decision, labelling the council as out of touch with the community.
A poll on the Mernda Residents Noticeboard found that 712 people want a 50-metre pool, compared to 103 people who want a 25-metre pool. A Facebook page, Extend the Pool in Mernda, was also started. To date, it has attracted more than 1100 likes.
At last week’s council meeting, Cr Tom Joseph moved an urgent motion asking for a report on the cost of a 50-metre competition pool, including a moveable boom to divide it into two 25-metre pools, venue seating and disabled access.
Cr Joseph said it was important the council listened to the community.
Cr Ricky Kirkham, who asked for a business case for a 50-metre pool at the February meeting, said it was good the council was recognising it was “out of touch”.
“The community overwhelmingly supports a 50-metre competition pool,” he said.