COVID-19 Dubbo: Families in western NSW literally digging deep to enjoy own backyards more

Sep 16, 2020

Dubbo News 13 September, 2020

COVID-19 is behind a rise in the number of families digging deep to enjoy more time in their own backyards, according to Dubbo pool installers.

Dubbo Regional Council data shows the number of pool builds is up 6 per cent in 2020 when compared to the same time last year and if the experience of installers is anything to go by, that trend is being replicated across western NSW.

Narellan Pools Dubbo owner Meagan Reaks estimates sales have gone up by 30 per cent.

“The biggest thing that pools compete with are overseas holidays and caravans, and because they’re really off the table at the moment, we’re not competing with those things,” she said.

“The other day we had a person who was going to buy a caravan buy a pool instead because they said there was no point at the moment.

“A lot of people are stuck at home, looking in the backyard and we’ve definitely noticed a massive increase in sales.”

A surge in demand, coupled with federal government JobKeeper payments, has allowed the business to hire more staff and rebound from the shock of when the pandemic began.

“Initially when the coronavirus hit in March there was a lot of panic with people pulling out of pool contracts,” Ms Reaks said.

“It was really scary times for us, especially coming off the back of a three-year drought.”

Nautical Pools owner Greg Hodgkinson said his workforce has doubled because of the boom in pool sales.

“This year’s gone crazy and I think it is because people are holidaying at home,” he said.

“I’ve got a heap of work ahead of me at the moment.”

Ahead of work trips to Orange and Mudgee, Mr Hodgkinson said demand for news pools was up across western NSW.

Ms Reaks said her team recently completed new pool builds in Bourke, Brewarrina and Cobar.

Despite the welcome boost, she is worried about the long-term effects of the pandemic.

“I’m just worried about once the backup of the JobKeeper finishes, what’s going to happen?

“At the moment it’s just a case of ‘let’s make hay while the sun’s shining’.”

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