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Local North Sydney cattle grazier Digby McAngus (66) says after a hellish couple years of drought, the last few weeks of rain has been a God send.
“It’s been tough mate. The earth was cracking. We nearly ran out of water in [Warragamba] dam. It hasn’t been a good time for the North Shore beef industry, let me tell you that”
Digby says throughout all the hard times his family has suffered over the last few years, the only saving grace, the one bastion of joy and escapism in their lives was the public pool in town.
“If it wasn’t for this bloody North Sydney pool I would have locked the gate and moved to Port Macquarie” he says while opening up a picnic chair and patting his house dog.
“When things were really grim, a couple months back, when I had to shoot some of my calves and their mothers, I’d be in a state…”
“But a couple laps down here, maybe a bomb dive off the boards. There’s not many bad days that can’t be fixed by a bit of splish splash down here at the North Sydney Pool ” he said, pointing to the beloved North Sydney Pool, located next to Lunar Park and underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
“I’m just so bloody glad the government was able to help us keep her in good nick”
In April 2019 Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and local MP Trent Zimmerman announced a $10 million election commitment to contribute to the pool upgrade.
However, as the Federal Government continues to get run through the ringer for the fact that they handed out just short of one billion dollars worth of mostly ineligible sporting grants to safe and marginal electorates leading into the 2019 election, it has since emerged that the pool funding had been secured from a program that targeted regional and remote areas.
This has resulted in outrage from the inner-city lefties roughly 5 kilometres away, as the crow flies, in Balmain, who wouldn’t know a regional area if it bet them in their soy-latte swilling arses.
The independent mayor of North Sydney Council, Ms Gibson, defended the awarding of the grant under the scheme.
She told 7.30 in an interview that North Sydney Olympic Pool was “definitely a regional facility” because sometimes people from the bush visit there.
“I might be raising cattle in the next town, but even as a farmer from Kirribilli, this pool has always been viewed as a regional centre”
“I know farming families and town kids from Hornsby to Manly Beach who use this pool. I think Frydenberg did the right thing by sending them a few bucks for maintenaince”
“Where else are we gonna go swimming? The bloody Harbour?”