Traditional owners open pool at Uluru

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Traditional owners have saved rent money collected from the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park since 2007 to open a swimming pool at Mutitjulu today.

Up until now, children and families had to travel into the resort town of Yulara nearly 30 kilometers away if they wanted to swim.

Mutitjulu Working Group member Judy Trigger explained why the community collected funds to open a local swimming pool.

"We decided to make sure that we could build the pool ourselves for our kids because there weren't really any options for the kids, like at the resort we'd go over and really the kids weren't welcome to swim there and they'd be sent away, so that was why we decided to make it a priority to do it ourselves,” says Ms Trigger.

So locals devised an innovative scheme, to use royalties from tourists visiting Uluru, to pay for the pool.

David Ross, member for the Central Land Council also expressed his excitement for the new pool.

"It is a great achievement for this community and the people who have been involved that have been working on this for the last six and even seven years," said Mr Ross.

The swimming pool was funded by a 2.7 million dollar grant from the Aboriginal Benefit Trust. An additional $100,000 was raised by traditional owners.

In appreciation, the community has also agreed to donate $1.5 million of rent money to cover the ongoing running costs of the pool.

But Land Council chairman Maurie Ryan said he was disappointed that neither the Federal nor Territory governments contributed any money.

Residents are hoping the new pool will boost kid’s health, with several studies suggesting the chlorine in the water can help improve eye, ear, throat and skin complaints.

Source NITV News

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