The company behind last summer’s inflatable aqua park at Black Mountain Peninsula wants the attraction to make a bigger splash in Lake Burley Griffin.
After what was considered a successful trial run last summer, Canberra Aqua Park has submitted a works application to the National Capital Authority to again set up operations at the Tarcoola Reach swimming area for the warmer months of November to February in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
It says Canberra Aqua Park is expected to attract more than 15,000 visitors to the area this summer. Last season it drew more than 16,000 patrons despite losing 24 days to bad weather, bushfire smoke and poor water quality.
About 1400 square metres of inflatables are planned, tied together and anchored to the bottom of the lake by about 160 concrete sleepers.
The site will be secured by pigtail stake rope fencing erected along the perimeter of the Park and CCTV will be installed to improve general safety in the area and to deter trespassers and vandalism.
Last summer a trespasser nearly drowned at the site, according to the Canberra Aqua Park annual report.
Three warning signs are proposed around the park, with the exact locations to be agreed on with the NCA. Canberra Aqua Park will also request from Roads ACT that two other identification signs be mounted on existing road signs on Lady Denman Drive.
Temporary gazebos or sail clothes along the shoreline, fixed to new concrete footings to ensure they do not blow away, will provide additional shelter.
The footings will be removed if and when the park is decommissioned.
The application says the Canberra Aqua Park is looking to access a permanent power supply from the grid.
All inflatable structures will be dismantled, packed and stored at a remote location during the offseason, and Canberra Aqua Park will agree to return the site to a pre-agreed state, which includes removal of anchors on the lake bed and other structures on the land.
The annual report says that as well as better security and signage and rehabilitation of grassed areas, Canberra Aqua Park would like to increase the size of the operation to accommodate new obstacles, improved layout and larger limits for each session.
It would also like to add food vans or other catering options in the car park.
The NCA says other items to be considered and addressed include changes to licensed boundary areas, the location of on-shore facilities; a reduced length of operation to be more aligned with ACT school holidays, ongoing consultation and engagement with local authorities including ACT water police; potential additional facilities such as showers and food outlets, and a strengthening of the Safety Management Plan.
When the aqua park was first proposed last year, it drew 65 objections, mainly to do with concerns about poor water quality, insufficient parking and amenities, as well as potential clashes with events such as triathlons and rowing regattas
The NCA has been keen to encourage more public use of the lake.