LIWA Aquatics Board Members along with Llew Withers from the WA Health Department and Lauren Nimmo from RLSSWA hit the road in October and clocked up over 1500 km's to present our annual country seminars in Mukinbudin and Manjimup.
These two events attracted over 90 delegates including, trade supporters and presenters many that travelled for many hours to attend. For some it was just up the road 100 km's but for Billy and Kobie from Esperance it was a 1300 km round trip. This shows wonderful support from the regional Shires and it demonstrates to the LIWA Aquatics Board that the country seminars still retain their relevance even after 18 years.


Mukinbudin CEO Stuart and Shire President Gary

The road trip started in Muckinbudin on a beautiful day in a wonderful location overlooking a vibrant green oval across to the recently renovated Muka Pool. The seminar was officially opened by the Shire President Gary Shadbolt who was heavily involved in the pool refurbishment. Gary spoke with both passion and pride how the project had evolved and was effusive in his praise of the contractors Wetdeck Pools and the end product that was delivered to the community. Shire CEO Stuart Billingham was also on hand to discuss the further opportunities for development and the staged approach that the Shire has adopted with the refurbishment of the Muka Pool.
In Manjimup we were welcomed by CEO Andrew Campbell and Evy Apeldoorn, Manager, Recreation and Facilities. Andrew gave some great insight into the Shire and its development as designated Supertown. Supertowns are a State Government initiative seeking to plan for the town's expansion over the next 30 years, to provide a vibrant and attractive rural location to help absorb the expectant doubling of the Western Australian population. In July 2011, Manjimup was selected as one of nine Supertowns, offering more choices for people wanting to live in regional areas and provide an attractive alternative to living in the metropolitan area.


 Wendy, Kaye and Fran

This development has been a key driver behind the Manjimup Regional Aquatic Facility that has seen the installation of a range of energy efficiencies installed over the past 12-18 months. Evy updated the delegates on the work that had been completed and the work that is proposed in the future. The Geothermal Project aims to reduce the heating cost of the Manjimup Pool. The installation of Ground Source Heating that extracts heat from a depth of 30 meters at 18C is then transferred to the heat pumps system. The overall project costs were $775,250 providing a potential saving of $35,000 per annum in electricity and energy costs.
After the initial welcomes the delegates headed out to the facilities for a site visited to the respective facilities. Mukinbudin is an outdoor pool in the Wheatbelt and Manjimup is a multi-purposed indoor facility in the South West of the state. Both were beautifully presented and a credit to the local shires, the managers and the staff at the facilities. This is a great opportunity for the delegates to look through the plant rooms and get an understanding of the VSD technology installed at both venues and to discuss operating issues with their peers and some of the trade suppliers participating in the seminar.


The Crew and Manji

Back into the seminar rooms after the site visits it was time for some networking and morning tea before the first formal session of the day was delivered by LIWA Aquatics Board Member Peter Leaversuch. Leavo updated the delegates on the results of the "2012/13 State of the Industry Report". This report focuses on injury data, pool audit results and general data collection from our facilities and is funded by the Department of Sport and Recreation and complied by the research team at RLSSWA. Interestingly much of the data collection is coordinated by the RLSSWA Call Centres that are located in Manjimup and Bridgetown.
The report provides a great deal of relevant information for the industry and provides data on areas that are performing well and recommendations for areas that may need attention. The ability for our industry to have this data on hand on an annual basis is critical as we strive for continuous improvement in all keys areas of operation.
Following on from Peter was Llew Withers from the WA Health Department and this year Llew focused on the changes to Table 8 "Microbiological Water Standards" in the Code of Practice. Llew provided a great deal of relevant practical information to the delegates on how to deal with Path West results that may have adverse findings. The discussions around the detection of Thermophilic Amoebae at both seminars and how to deal proved very interesting for the managers. Llew also provided a brief history of Thermophilic Naegleria and informed managers not to test scheme water and to provide backwash samples only once a year. The revised Table 8 is a very clear guideline for managers and provides all the relevant direction for ensuring compliance against the Code if your facility returns a contaminated result from the Laboratory.


Lauren and Zac from Mt Barker

The final presentation before lunch was conducted by our Watch Around Water Manager Lauren Nimmo. The session was very much in a workshop format and provided delegates with the opportunity to discuss issues around the new resources, training aids and the development of the program. Lauren's key message was one of the need for managers to promote the program at every opportunity in the community and support their staff in its implementation on the pool deck. Lauren rounded of her presentation by presenting the Shire of Merredin and the Shire of Plantagenet with new mobile signs for the front entrance of their facilities. LIWA Aquatics purchased these signs to recognise the great work of these two Local Governments in promoting the Watch Around Water message in their communities.

Lunch is always a great time to catch and chat but also time to enjoy the catering provided by the regional communities and this year's winner was the Mukinbudin PC for their supply of homemade cakes, sausage rolls and beautiful fresh sandwiches. It was great to see CEO Stuart bring in a fresh plate of homemade cakes as his family's contribution to the fund raiser.
After the refuel it was time for another workshop that focused on the types of incidents that may force the closure of a pool and the steps required to remediate the pool before it can be reopened to public. Llew Withers facilitated the session with the assistance of Karin, Steve and Chris and the long term outcome is to have a prescriptive document to assist managers faced with this type of problem in the workplace.


John Simmonds finally being presented with his 2014 Presidents Award for Excellence

Chris Blankley then provided a very informative session of his recent experience with the redevelopment process of the Bilgoman Aquatic Centre. Chris was able to provide a range of tips and potential pitfalls to watch out for when undertaking a major redevelopment of an aquatic facility. The way Chris was able to track the progress of the scope of works, make changes where necessary and effectively project manage the development to ensure the best possible outcome for the Shire of Mundaring was a very interesting to all the delegates.


A room with a view in Manjimup

The final presentation of the day was left to Steve Good who provided a range of updates on the changes to RLSSWA Pool Lifeguard and the move to more online assessment as well as the proposed changes to the Pool Operations Training in 2015. The continued development of our training is critical and Steve's strong IT background has seen the programs developed and enhanced over the past two years. As the man responsible for LIWA Aquatics IT as well Steve was also able to update the delegates on the new website and improvements to the site.

It was then back to our MC Chris Blankley to wrap up the day with his "Around the Pools" session which provides a great opportunity for all delegates to update the collective group on the past season and the plans for the season just around the corner. It is a lot fun and a great way to finish the day.
Chris then thanked all the delegates for attending and singled out our corporate supporters Sigma Chemicals, Commercial Aquatics Australia, Shenton Engineering, KASA Consulting and Malcolm Thompson Pumps for taking the time to attend and support the event. He thanked the host venues, the Shire of Mukinbudin and the Shire of Manjimup for their support in "Maintaining the Network" in 2014.

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We provide support, professional development and networking opportunities for individuals in the aquatic industry throughout Western Australia.

  1. PO Box 726, Hillarys, WA 6923
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