31 January 2022

Gungahlin pool reopening delayed ... again

| Max O'Driscoll
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Gungahlin Pool

The 50-metre pool at the Gungahlin Leisure Centre has had its reopening delayed yet again. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The reopening of the 50-metre pool at Gungahlin Leisure Centre, tentatively scheduled for the end of the summer, has been delayed again into “mid-2022”.

In a statement from ACT Sport and Recreation, a spokesperson revealed that “current COVID-19 restrictions have impacted resourcing for the project”, and hopes of a reopening by the end of summer have been dashed.

The pool was closed when leaks were discovered in mid-2020 while undertaking regular maintenance. This is the second consecutive summer the pool has been out of action.

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An ACT Government spokesperson said they could not provide a timeline for the pool’s reopening. However, the spokesperson said works were progressing and a formal announcement would be made when it was confirmed.

President of the Gungahlin Community Council Peter Elford understands the added pressures created by the pandemic on the construction industry but could not deny it was news he found “incredibly frustrating”.

“I get that because of COVID, everything is delayed. It’s a very common message. I think everyone in Gungahlin, everyone in Canberra, and everyone in the world is dealing with it,” said Mr Elford.

“However, there remains an ongoing, deep sense of frustration about the delay in the context of a whole bunch of other things in Gungahlin, in terms of a lack of services, and community and recreation facilities.”

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While he acknowledged that he supports the government’s approach to take the “long option” and strip the tiles back entirely and make sure the issues are corrected properly, he wasn’t happy with the information flow from the ACT Government.

“The biggest frustration has been a lack of communication and clarity around what’s happened. Once it has happened, there’s a whole bunch of recrimination and frustration around how this was let to happen,” said Mr Elford.

“But, it’s definitely not a two-year job. It took a long time to recognise that there was a problem.”

Of some optimism is the accompanying news that hydrostatic testing of the pool shell was completed over the holiday period. This involved filling the pool with water and letting it sit to test for leaks. The ACT Government is satisfied with the test results and is now preparing the pool shell for tiling works.

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At the Budget Estimates for Sport and Recreation in late October, the government also flagged acoustic and lighting upgrades at the pool with a budgeted cost of $365,000. This came after some of the pool’s main user groups approached Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry before the pool’s closure, raising concerns about both the high noise levels and low visibility within the building.

Original Article published by Max O’Driscoll on Riotact.

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