The future of the Hedland Water Polo Association is in jeopardy with the group facing a second lost season in as many years.
HWPA secretary Sarah Pell said news that the yet-to-be-completed South Hedland Aquatic Centre upgrade would not include lights until at least May had likely killed off any hope for games this season.
She said the association was reluctant to accept an offer from the Town of Port Hedland to play during the daytime at weekends because most players had other commitments.
A plan to use temporary lights was deemed unsuitable for safety reasons.
Ms Pell said the association was facing a second crisis after the Town advised it could no longer serve alcohol at the aquatic centre.
“Apparently we need to have club rooms – another thing that wasn’t done during the upgrade – where the alcohol can be stored or an area where people consuming alcohol cannot get back into the pool,” she said.
“This ban will hit us hard as it was a major revenue maker for the association. We had games on a Friday night and when people finished their games they would generally get a beer and enjoy it with their teammates.”
Ms Pell said regulations restricting alcohol consumption near the swimming pool had never been raised with the association until recently.
The reopening of the South Hedland Aquatic Centre remains a sensitive issue for the Town of Port Hedland after the original construction timeline had works completed by last September.
The North West Telegraph can reveal a new disabled access ramp leading into the pool was built to inadequate specifications, causing further delays.
One council source claimed the ramp had to be re-done because it stopped before reaching the bottom of the pool, leaving a drop of about one foot (0.30m).
A Town spokeswoman would not elaborate on the extent of the ramp problem but said the council was “investigating the issue and will do what it can to rectify it as soon as possible”.
Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett took to Facebook this week to address delays at the pool and Marquee Park, which was supposed to open in December 2011.
“Unfortunately in both projects we had instances where contractors believed they had completed the works and works were at the necessary standard,” Cr Howlett wrote. “In both cases, upon inspection, the works were not complete and were not to the standard required. This has required negotiation and in one case legal action.”
The Telegraph understands the action Cr Howlett referred to is in relation to payment for the transportable caretaker’s residence at Marquee Park but a Town spokeswoman said the issue was contractual only, not legal.Cr Howlett wrote the Town was working towards having South Hedland Aquatic Centre and Marquee Park finished by the end of the month.