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‘I’ve had enough’: Government commits to Parramatta pool, with or without council’s help

Ben Fordham Exclusive

The state government has vowed to go ahead with the construction of a new public pool at Parramatta, as talks with the council reach breaking point.

Parramatta’s pool was demolished in April last year as part of the development of a new stadium in Western Sydney.

Originally there were no plans for a replacement but the state government ultimately agreed to fund a similar pool and committed $30 million.

But talks with Parramatta City Council haven’t gone smoothly and have now broken down, with council wanting more money to fund a better development.

NSW Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres tells Ben Fordham he’s had enough with the stalemate and the state government will build a pool for the people of Parramatta, whether the council’s on board or not.

“If council won’t deliver it with us then, we’ll do it on our own and we’ll make our commitment.

“If they want a better pool then Parramatta Council’s got to come to the party and they simply don’t want to do that.

“I’ve got no time for political thuggery here or incompetence, so the people of Parramatta are getting a pool and we’ll build it for them.”

Council is pushing for an extra $9 million for the works but Minister Ayres says he doesn’t have that money “floating around”.

Mr Ayres says the state government’s $30-million offer still stands but he needs to start design work “so that people have a pool next summer”.

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Parramatta Council’s Deputy Mayor Michelle Garrard called in after hearing Mr Ayres on-air.

She insists they’ve been “working very hard” with Minister Ayres to reach a funding agreement.

“Our letters to your office have come back and said you’re not going to budge on your $30 million,” she says.

Ben Fordham Exclusive