6 August 2019

Canberra water park gets green light despite opposition

| Lachlan Roberts
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The park will have multi-level challenge obstacles which will include tunnels, bridges, runways and slides. File photos.

Canberrans will be able to splash around on an inflatable water park in Lake Burley Griffin this Summer after the National Capital Authority (NCA) approved a six-month trial at Black Mountian Peninsula despite overwhelming opposition.

It was revealed in May that an inflatable water park was proposed for Black Mountain Peninsula, with the NCA opening the idea to community consultation.

The NCA received a total of 123 written submissions on the proposal (including five late submissions). 65 submissions opposed the aqua park, while 34 supported it though not in the proposed location and 25 respondents supportive of the proposal.

The key concerns raised against the application included poor water quality, issues with location and potential clashes with other event users such as Triathlon ACT, and insufficient parking and other amenities.

Despite written opposition from Radford College, Rowing ACT and Triathlon ACT, who use the section of the lake for other activities, the NCA said the park will not interrupt their activity.

“The aqua park will occupy a small portion of the of the water surface area within the buoyed swimming beach (approximately 37 per cent) which leaves the majority of space (63 per cent) open to public use, including access to the additional fenced children’s area,” the consultation report said.

“The proposal is unlikely to impact on the nearby rowing sheds, sited approximately 135 metres away from the closest shed.”

Where the proposed aqua park will be located.

The consultation report said that the NCA believes multiple events can occur concurrently at Black Mountain Peninsula, with Triathlon ACT and rowing regattas located outside of the swimming beach buoy line.

“Triathlon ACT has never incorporated their swim leg in the buoyed swimming area of Black Mountain Peninsula, with the exception of the children’s swim leg that was undertaken once in 2018,” the report said.

“The NCA considers that multiple events can occur concurrently at Black Mountain Peninsula, and a large component of the buoyed swimming area remains accessible to the public and for event use.

“Therefore, the NCA does not expect any conflicts between scheduled events and the aqua park operation.”

The NCA also stated in the consultation report that traffic and parking has been considered in the assessment of the application and that overflow car parking may be considered if the need arises.

NCA chief Sally Barnes said the Aqua Park Trial will begin operations in November and will continue until April next year. Ms Barnes said the community consultation process was “extensive”.

“The addition of this summer activity on Lake Burley Griffin is a welcome one,” Ms Barnes said.

All inflatable structures will be dismantled, packed and stored away at a remote location during the offseason.

“The NCA is keen to see more community use of Lake Burley Griffin and this trial along with the hopeful reactivation of the Pedal Boats on the lake in the future, will continue to activate the lake for locals and visitors to our fabulous National Capital.

“This is a trial and we recognise the community’s views and we will continue to work with the Canberra community and stakeholders that utilise this part of the lake for sporting and recreational purposes to ensure that this site is managed for multi-use.”

The aqua park will be operational during warmer months only, with all inflatable structures to be dismantled, packed and stored away at a remote location during the offseason.

The aqua park will consist of a number of large inflatable obstacles floating on top of the lake, which are interconnected and anchored to the bottom of the lake.

The multi-level challenge obstacles will include tunnels, bridges, runways, slides, jumping pillow, slip waves and a swing tower, and positioned in water two or more metres deep.

The NCA also considered other locations for the water park, including Weston Park, Molonglo Reach, Grevillea Park, Bowen Park, West Basin, Lotus Bay and Yarralumla Bay but decided that Black Mountian Peninsula was the best location for a number of reasons including water depth suitable for aqua park activities.

If the initial trial is deemed successful, the NCA will consider a further time extension to operate for the recreational seasons of 2020-21 and 2021-22. Expansion of the facility will be subject of additional public consultation, the report states.

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I’m still looking for someone to stump up the costs for an indoor beach and wave machine.

We were told a story that West Basin wasn’t seeing enough use because the government needed an excuse to fill it in and build high rise on it. Now this and they’ll bring back the paddle boats as well? ROFL.

Remember that breakfast cereal ad with the camp goldfish?

according to the person promoting this on 2CC yesterday afternoon, you can expect to be paying around $25 per hour to use this….

It’s a fun idea and agree there’s lots of space on the peninsular to set up everything around it.

Shame it’s ticketed and probably expensive? That just means all the current people using that beach and area for free are going to be pushed out. Govt. should make it clear what other beaches they can use and maybe clean some others up for them

When I went to Noosa in 1982 I was introduced to surf ski riding and bought a Hayden model from one of the surf shops. When I arrived back in Canberra I took it to Yarralumla Beach, saw (and smelt) the water and spent the next 30 minutes pondering whether to go in. I just couldn’t do it. Instead I made the long trip over murder mountain to the coast for my paddling fix.

Now almost 30 years later we will have parents urging their kids to enjoy the “Wet and Wild” experience at the Lake. But what if they don’t want to go?

Did this really get the blue green light!

“Extensive” community consultation? And then the NCA disreguarded it and sided with the 20%…

A quick scan of the consultation report reveals the usual suspects voicing their opposition under the dubious guise of “heritage”. God forbid anyone enjoys the lake and wants to use it as a recreational resource.

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