Ice rink tender to go out in coming weeks, says Government

Ian Bushnell 20 May 2019 41

Phillip ice rink: The ice sports community says it needs a bigger facility to cope with growth in the capital. Photo: George Tsostsos.

The push for a new ice rink in the capital will soon get its skates on when the ACT Government asks for expressions of interest in developing what would be a multi-million dollar facility.

A Government spokesperson said the EOI documentation was being developed and would be publicly advertised in the coming weeks. Sports Minister Yvette Berry had said a tender would go out early this year.

The tender would seek interest from suitably qualified and experienced parties to design, construct, operate and maintain a new ice sports facility in the ACT.

The ACT Ice Sports Federation – representing figure skating, ice hockey, including the Canberra Brave, and broomball – has been driving the bid for a two-sheet replacement for the current 38-year-old Phillip rink, which it argues isn’t big enough for world-class competition and the growing fan base.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr promised in 2016 to start building a new ice rink before the 2020 election and an undisclosed amount of money was allocated in the mid-year budget review in February to support the bid, although the Government has made it clear that the private sector will have to stump up most of the money.

The spokesperson said the tender would specify that the Government will consider providing some financial and/or non-financial contributions to support the establishment of the facility, but the Territory did not intend to directly own or be the primary funding source for a new ice sports facility.

Phillip Swimming and Skating Centre: The site will need to be rezoned before it can be redeveloped for any other use. Photo: George Tsotsos.

The Government-commissioned options paper compiled by Lockbridge and released last October examined three options, looking at how big the rink (or rinks) would need to be, the size of the parcel of land required, facility program requirements, capital cost, operating costs and potential funding scenarios.

It found the AISF-preferred two-rink facility over two levels would cost $35 million, a two-rink facility over a single level $30 million and a one-rink facility over two $22 million.

The paper said the preferred option would make a profit of half a million dollars based on patronage of 50,000 people a year. It said the average attendance at Canberra Brave games was about 800 and the AISF wanted a capacity of 2500, although option one only allows for 1600 seats.

The Government spokesperson said the viability of the options relied on a private sector partner or partners fulfilling the tender requirements.

The Government did not have a possible site in mind and the tender would request that interested parties identify a suitable location, as well as specifying a range of core facility requirements and conditions that will need to be met.

The manager of the Phillip ice rink and pool John Raut and the owner Wayne Houghton both say a new rink would mean the current facility would close, but they had not heard anything from the Government about the future of the prime site on the corner of Melrose Drive and Launceston Street.

The Philip Swimming Pool underwent refurbishment during the winter months. Photo Tim Gavel

The Philip pool site is a prime location. Photo: Tim Gavel.

The site requires a rezoning for it to be redeveloped for other use, such as the high-rise residential buildings proliferating in Woden.

Geocon’s massive WOVA development is planned across the road on the former Tradies site, and Mr Houghton acknowledges that the site would be very valuable for that purpose.

But he said he could only react to what the Government decided.

Both said that the urban environment had changed in Phillip and it was no longer suitable for an open-air pool.

Mr Raut, who has been deeply involved in ice skating for decades, defended the quality of ice at Phillip as state-of-the-art but acknowledged the ice community would like a bigger facility.

He could only afford to ‘patch and paint’ the facility without closing it for any length of time, and any new facility would have to be built elsewhere to avoid ice sports being shut down during the transition.

A study had been commissioned on the viability of a new ice rink being developed on the nearby surface car park but the proposal was deemed unaffordable.

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41 Responses to Ice rink tender to go out in coming weeks, says Government
Sue Leek Sue Leek 10:50 pm 22 May 19


Sydney NSW Australia 🌿

School Strike 4 Climate Action

The Ice Rinks are Rising

Just like the Oceans !

Ben Cowe Ben Cowe 11:41 am 22 May 19

Matt Apostoloff was your cba that good?

Russel Ueckermann Russel Ueckermann 11:39 am 22 May 19

MPowerDome is waiting and ready to go! 156 metres long, 38 metres wide and 13 metres high, Located in Fadden.

Christopher Cole Christopher Cole 10:24 am 21 May 19

About time!!

Pandy Pandy 9:26 am 21 May 19

Needs two rinks. One for figures and the other for biffos, erm ice hockey

Evonne Deans Evonne Deans 8:01 am 21 May 19

Steven Deans will see !

Nikki Warren Nikki Warren 12:27 am 21 May 19

Marion hope this happens for your boys ..

Deborah Hammett Deborah Hammett 11:10 pm 20 May 19

I wonder why Rollerskating is not getting a fair go at a venue? Roller Derby are making the sport great again. It's clearly as popular as Ice Hockey, and a lot less for the upkeep of the skating surface. 🤔🤔 (Insert well deserving Rollerskate emoji here.)

    Kerry Crampton Kerry Crampton 7:24 am 21 May 19

    The crowds are nowhere near as big for roller derby as they are for hockey in the act. And lots of hockey fans don’t even go to the games because it’s too full. But an ice skating rink would cater for other ice sports as well.

    Dyanne Wayling Dyanne Wayling 1:03 pm 21 May 19

    We have the same problem in Sydney, for my Children to do the sport they love ( inline speed and artistic) we need to travel over an hour in each direction, if they wanted to ice skate there are 3 rinks within half an hour of where we live.

    Deborah Hammett Deborah Hammett 7:56 pm 21 May 19

    Kerry Crampton I think in general, Canberra's indoor sports venues need a boost. I agree the ones that are available, need to be bigger. We are the nations capital and we hard pressed to hold sizeable national competitions.

    Deborah Hammett Deborah Hammett 7:58 pm 21 May 19

    Dyanne Wayling it is an issue that needs addressing. 🤔🤔

    Penney Wood Penney Wood 12:29 am 22 May 19

    Deborah Hammett Canberra Roller Derby League’s rep team is now placed 15th in the world (out of hundreads of acredited leagues). We are struggling to find a venue big enough for our training and paying to hold our home games in the Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium is very costly to us, though we are consistently well attended.

    To get a look in with this in some way even at using the old venue would mean a lot to the development of our sport in the region and give other skating sports a home as well.

    Deborah Hammett Deborah Hammett 10:06 pm 22 May 19

    Penney Wood I think we need to Knock on Yvette Berry's door!!😉

Craig Rogerson Craig Rogerson 9:10 pm 20 May 19

Lucy Rogerson

Shane Haiduk Shane Haiduk 5:43 pm 20 May 19

Bryce Logan. Options.

    Bryce Logan Bryce Logan 8:49 pm 20 May 19

    Shane Haiduk I shall start collecting donations tomorrow to assist with funding.

Jessica Cariño-Schmidt Jessica Cariño-Schmidt 3:15 pm 20 May 19

Nathan Carino-Schmidt you mean people won’t have to sit on lockers to watch the ice hockey?

    Nathan Carino-Schmidt Nathan Carino-Schmidt 4:06 pm 20 May 19

    Jessica Cariño-Schmidt that's very exciting. Some better facilities I think would encourage me to see more games.

Shannon Marks Shannon Marks 2:01 pm 20 May 19

Nadine Hopman Ron Hogan we could apply for this #ATeamliveson

Trevor Watson Trevor Watson 1:58 pm 20 May 19

Why not put stages 2 to 34 of the light rail out to tender as well?

Aubrey Chayson Aubrey Chayson 1:26 pm 20 May 19

Sabrina Melo Floresdate night

    Sabrina Melo Flores Sabrina Melo Flores 1:28 pm 20 May 19

    if you want to see me break my ankles and spend the date in hospital ;) hahaha

    Aubrey Chayson Aubrey Chayson 1:32 pm 20 May 19

    ..then you can’t leave ahahhahaa omg we’ll go do something ankle friendly

Jodie Withers Jodie Withers 12:38 pm 20 May 19

Carly Maddox of interest!!!

Justin Watson Justin Watson 10:46 am 20 May 19

A new rink would probably be cheaper to run, because it would be in a better more environmentally purposed building. I remember playing broomball on wet ice and it wasn't as fun as frozen ice! It would be great if they could include a curling area as well, Hopefully, they build the two rink version as well, as ice time at a reasonable hour is a common complaint at the current facility. Nice to be built in Tuggeranong as suggested (and to help stop some whinging), but to be honest if its a good facility anywhere will be fine.

Alexandra Craig Alexandra Craig 10:24 am 20 May 19

Christina Myers we will have a new rink to show off all our fancy moves, prob do a triple axel maybe

Jane Southwell Jane Southwell 10:22 am 20 May 19

Hope something happens.... started taking my grandson to games, but the 200k round trip without a guaranteed seat, soon dampened our enthusiasm. Then last year he went to an Oilers game in the incredible Rogers Place (Edmonton) and we both now dream of the impossible.

Teresa BRx Teresa BRx 9:39 am 20 May 19

A new rink will definitely need a seating capacity closer to 2500 (at least), ideally not single sided (like in Melbourne), and to definitely keep the bar overlooking the rink. Loads more people would attend games if the knew they were definitely going to have a seat

Martin Miller Martin Miller 8:37 am 20 May 19

No off road path on that side of Hindmarsh Drive. But riding the wrong way down a cycle lane not good. Should be wide paths on each side of this six lane major arterial road not just on one side!

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