Not in focus
By ANN-MARIE MAY
"IT'S just ridiculous!"
Had you taken a walk around the Coffs Harbour Memorial Pool yesterday, this was the phrase (among others) that you would have frequently heard.
The comments were in response to the Randwick City Council's decision earlier in the week to ban cameras at the Maroubra swimming complex.
However, it appears commonsense has prevailed and, faced with enormous community backlash, the council has suspended this decision.
But how long is it before the proposal arises again and other council's follow suit?
Scott Hunt, manager of Woolgoolga Pool, has put a lot of thought into the issue and listened to both sides of the story. He can confidently say he would never allow the ban to take place in his pool.
"From what I understand there is no documented proof that photos taken at pools are being used for anything sinister, so unless something happens at my pool we will definitely not ban cameras," Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt was also at the Coffs Harbour pool yesterday for the Mid North Coast PSSA Carnival, cheering on the 200 kids he helps train ? and he had his camera in hand.
"These kids train long and hard, and they deserve the recognition of appearing in the newsletter or the family photo album," he said.
Parents of two, Michelle and Rick Wilson also share the sentiment that such a ban could only be described as ridiculous.
They could be found for much of the carnival standing poolside snapping photos of their daughters, Tori, 12, and Connor, 9.
"Those sort of people who they are worried about will find a way if they really want to. It's just taking away from parents the enjoyment and memories," Mrs Wilson said.
Mr Wilson agrees with his wife that things are being taken too far.
"I'd like to see them try and stop me taking photos of my kids," Mr Wilson said.
The proposal to have one official photographer in a 'designated area' was also met with reservations.
One grandmother had travelled from Grafton to watch her grandson compete.
"He is in a lot of races today, but so far hasn't come a place. Would a professional photographer take shots of the kids who don't win?" she said.
"His mum has got some great shots of him today that will go up on my wall. I can't explain how sad it would be if I couldn't continue my 'memory wall'."