Long hot summer ahead: Gungahlin, Phillip pools closed; The future of the citizens’ pool is uncertain

Gungahlin pool

Work on the currently closed Gungahlin pool at the Leisure Center has resumed after a break in construction for the closure. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Minister of Sport and Leisure Yvette Berry has acknowledged the frustration of society around another summer without the Gungahlin Basin, describing the lengthy repair process over the past 18 months as “quite a journey”.

Gungahlin Leisure Center has had a long-standing leak problem with its 50-meter pool dating back to mid-2020. The problems have been unresolved since then, meaning the pool was not available for use last summer and is likely to remain closed for most of the coming summer.

“We know everyone wants to see it open again and hopefully function better than it has ever been, which is certainly our plan from the government’s perspective,” Ms Berry told Budget Estimates for Sport and Recreation on Friday (October 29). ).

The government has marked acoustic and lighting upgrades by the pool. Before the pool closed, Mrs Berry was contacted by its main user groups, who expressed concern about both the high noise levels and poor lighting standards in the building. The ACT government has allocated $ 365,000 in the budget for these upgrades.

READ MORE: Completion of Gungahlin Pool repair pushed into 2022

Executive Group Manager of Shared Services and Property Graham Tanton said work resumed on October 18 after the pandemic halted the project.

He expects the procedure will increase along with work on the pool shell, expansion joints and water testing. He also revealed that operators of the Gungahlin Leisure Center, YMCA NSW, are being compensated for the pool closure, but did not reveal the exact level of this compensation.

The Civic Pool, or Canberra Olympic Pool as it is formally called, has had an uncertain future for some time. The pool site was seen as the preferred location for the Civic Stadium project from a report released in March this year.

In the ACT budget released last month, $ 1.3 million was set aside for the pool’s operating costs. The budget stated that the government would assess the impact on the pool’s protection following the opening of the Stromlo Leisure Center and the new aquatic facility at ANU before submitting funding forecasts.

READ MORE: Phillip Pool remains closed for summer 2021/22 as there are still questions about its future

Shadow Ministers suggested $ 1.3 million would fight to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the facility and asked Mrs Berry about the pool’s future after the next budget year.

Despite declaring the Civic Pool to be an important part of Canberra’s history, Mrs Berry agreed that the cost of operation would be “more expensive as time goes on” and suggested that there is still the question of whether a pool is the best use of the site in the future. .

Unlike the Gungahlin Pool and the pool at Phillip, the Canberra Olympic Pool is currently open to the public.

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