Long hot Summer ahead: Gungahlin, Phillip pools closed; Civic pool’s future uncertain

Max O'Driscoll 1 November 2021 63
Gungahlin pool

Works at the currently closed Gungahlin pool at the Leisure Centre have recommenced after a break in construction for the lockdown. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry has acknowledged community frustration around another summer without the Gungahlin pool, describing the lengthy repair process over the past 18 months as “quite the journey”.

The Gungahlin Leisure Centre has had a long-running leaking issue with its 50-metre pool dating back to mid-2020. The issues have remained unresolved since then, meaning the pool was unavailable for use last summer and is likely to remain closed for most of the coming summer.

“We know that everyone wants to see it open again and operating hopefully better than it ever was, which is definitely our plan from the government perspective,” Ms Berry said at Budget Estimates for sport and recreation on Friday (29 October).

The government has flagged acoustic and lighting upgrades at the pool. Before the pool’s closure, Ms Berry was approached by its main user groups who raised concerns about both the high noise levels and poor lighting standards in the building. The ACT Government has set aside $365,000 in the budget for these upgrades.


READ MORE: Gungahlin Pool repair completion pushed into 2022


Executive Group Manager of Shared Services and Property Graham Tanton said that works recommenced on 18 October after the pandemic brought the project to a halt.

He expects proceedings to ramp up, along with work on the pool shell, expansion joints and water testing. He also revealed that operators of the Gungahlin Leisure Centre, YMCA NSW, are being compensated for the pool’s closure, but did not disclose the exact level of this compensation.

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

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


READ MORE: Phillip Pool to stay closed for 2021/22 summer as questions remain regarding its future


Shadow Ministers suggested $1.3 million would struggle to meet the costs of operations and maintenance at the facility and posed questions to Ms Berry regarding the pool’s future beyond the next budget year.

Despite declaring the Civic Pool to be an important part of Canberra’s history, Ms Berry agreed that the cost of operations is becoming “more expensive as time goes on” and suggested that questions remain over whether a pool is the best use of the site moving forward.

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


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63 Responses to Long hot Summer ahead: Gungahlin, Phillip pools closed; Civic pool’s future uncertain
mattm mattm 3:31 am 06 Nov 21

Another ACT Government cluster f..k!!! Aren’t they great? Turning the National Capital into the National Capital while charging premium rates and fees.
John Overall and his esteemed NCDC colleagues, who so meticulously planned Canberra over half a century and produced the most livable city in the world, must be rolling in their graves as Barr and his quota-driven bleeding heart cronies and the useless Liberal opposition oversee the unravelling of all their hard work.
Our current leaders are sadly turning the Y Plan into the Why Plan.

Sam Warry Sam Warry 9:09 am 03 Nov 21

Just across the border, Queanbeyan, Captains flat, Bungendore and Braidwood all have lovely open pools…

Mellissa Craft Mellissa Craft 11:00 pm 02 Nov 21

Melissa Beeton insert photo of spa about here I reckon?? 😬👏

Martin Miller Martin Miller 10:20 pm 02 Nov 21

Please sign /share the petition for the Phillip pool! https://epetitions.act.gov.au/CurrentEPetition.aspx?PetId=199&lIndex=-1

    Diana Nasr Diana Nasr 10:42 am 03 Nov 21

    Martin Miller Why? Not like they offer concessions, they also charge an arm and leg if you are only supervising your children & not swimming. Now they want government assistance, what a joke! They should have placed a percentage of income towards long term maintenance themselves

    Martin Miller Martin Miller 12:04 pm 03 Nov 21

    Diana Nasr I totally agree! It's time for the ACT Government cancel the lease and refurbish the site for the Woden community!

Melissa Khoder Melissa Khoder 9:40 pm 02 Nov 21

Tahlia Kaddour Dickson pool will be so full! 😩

    Alexandra Parkin Alexandra Parkin 8:46 am 03 Nov 21

    Melissa Khoder You guys can come to ours anytime :-)

Paul Hands Paul Hands 8:59 pm 02 Nov 21

What a joke!

Ben Jones Ben Jones 7:54 pm 02 Nov 21

But the tram is air conditioned ….

Sue N John Collins Sue N John Collins 7:43 pm 02 Nov 21

And the AIS has closed for casual swimming

Samantha Ward Samantha Ward 7:29 pm 02 Nov 21

Moira Clancy we can cut mad moves on our skates instead in the empty pool. Heck even Shannon Marks can come as well 😋

    Shannon Marks Shannon Marks 8:34 pm 02 Nov 21

    Samantha Ward you couldnt handle my skate moves Ward

    Moira Clancy Moira Clancy 9:17 pm 02 Nov 21

    Samantha Ward actually, that's not a half bad idea! Looks like my emergency swimming option of Civs pool awaits a fate unknown too. I sense a theme......

    Moira Clancy Moira Clancy 9:18 pm 02 Nov 21

    Shannon Marks https://gfycat.com/distortedmessyamericanshorthair

Al Crawford Al Crawford 7:22 pm 02 Nov 21

Trams are magnificent said nobody....

Nick Anderson Nick Anderson 7:20 pm 02 Nov 21

I’m pretty sure civic pool’s future was fairly set in concrete as the ACT government’s preferred site for a city stadium 🏟. Civic pool’s days are numbered, question is not if but when it will happen.

Nicola Robilliard Nicola Robilliard 6:20 pm 02 Nov 21

Dickson pool opening 15th November. 🏊‍♀️.

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 5:40 pm 02 Nov 21

Let's see how many "additional" drownings along rivers occur due to people being pushed to source alternatives

Hoppe John Hoppe John 5:26 pm 02 Nov 21

But they can afford to build a tram extension no wonder people move away

Ashlee Betteridge Ashlee Betteridge 5:22 pm 02 Nov 21

It's also impossible to find out anything about CISAC pool now unless you are a Club Lime member...

Colleen Carruthers Colleen Carruthers 5:17 pm 02 Nov 21

I checked Manuka Pool’s website recently. It’s closed. Does anyone know if/when it will re open?

Rowie Stirling Rowie Stirling 5:16 pm 02 Nov 21

Xuan Le you may be able to charge entry fees to your pool this summer

Marita Rose Marita Rose 5:06 pm 02 Nov 21

Harry Carman da pools are closin

Michael Langridge Michael Langridge 4:49 pm 02 Nov 21

More reason to bail from Canberra in the summer time

    Mookie Moo Mookie Moo 5:17 pm 02 Nov 21

    Michael Langridge That’s what those in charge of decisions probably do. Who needs to worry about a pool when they can head off to a beach house. They may not value them like some people. It’s sad that they seem to be letting all the pools go to waste for those that use them.

    Michael Langridge Michael Langridge 5:21 pm 02 Nov 21

    Mookie Moo weve been waiting for the gunghalin pool for an age. Its a joke hey

    Mookie Moo Mookie Moo 6:23 pm 02 Nov 21

    Michael Langridge It really is 😢

Tracey Hughes Tracey Hughes 4:20 pm 02 Nov 21

How much longer is Gungahlin going to have to wait for the pool to be fixed. It’s been years now. Just disgraceful.

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