LAKE Macquarie MP Greg Piper has launched a petition to have the Myuna Bay Sport and Recreation Centre reopened after the shock closure of the facility on Friday.
Acting on advice from Origin, whose Eraring power station ash dam is close to Myuna Bay, the NSW Office of Sport closed the centre without warning on Friday.
Origin advised that an engineering review of the ash dam had found that although the dam was stable, it could be affected in the event of an earthquake.
Because Myuna Bay sits downhill from the ash dam, concerns for the centre were heightened.
"While we understand that the likelihood of a serious seismic event is low, and that a breach of the dam wall is therefore very unlikely, we are taking the only responsible measure by acting on the basis of a worst-case scenario," Origin's executive general manager, energy supply and operations, Greg Jarvis, said.
"Origin will always act extremely cautiously in any health or safety matter, and in the best interest of the community."
The closure prompted an angry response from Mr Piper.
"Following the disgraceful decision by the Office of Sport and Origin Energy to close Myuna Bay Sport and Rec centre on Friday, I've started a petition today and I hope you'll help me collect as many signatures as possible," Mr Piper said in a statement on Monday.
"I believe the department's actions are extraordinary and a total betrayal of our local community.
I believe the department's actions are extraordinary and a total betrayal of our local community.- MP Greg Piper
"The petition calls for the urgent roepening of the Myuna Bay facility and calls on Origin Energy to take immediate action so that its ash dam and all of its other facilities pose no danger to community assets."
Origin said it was mindful of the impact of the popular centre's closure.
"We understand the significance of the centre to the local community and acknowledge the inconvenience that this closure causes," Mr Jarvis said.
"We would like to thank the NSW Office of Sport for acting expediently on our advice."
Engineering studies on improvements to the ash dam wall had already been completed, and Origin would compensate the government for the closure, he said.