Canberra’s proposed southside hydrotherapy pool is one step closer after an expert consultant was employed to oversee the initial design, planning and costing work.
The preferred site is the Lakeside Leisure Centre facility in Tuggeranong town centre, but the Active Leisure Centre at the Erindale Group Centre is being considered as a second option.
The ACT Government committed $250,000 to begin the work as part of its COVID-19 stimulus package last year.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said consultation will be undertaken with stakeholders and community members soon.
The consultation follows months of criticism from southside locals at the start of last year as the government scrambled to find an alternative hydrotherapy pool on Canberra’s southside after it decided to close the facility at the Canberra Hospital.
The government then announced an alternative location in Kambah after complaints from locals who could not make the trip to the University of Canberra Hospital pool for hydrotherapy treatment.
Services were moved from TCH to Aqua Harmony in Canberra while the government considered the feasibility of building a southside hydrotherapy pool in the medium to long term.
A three-year funding agreement with Arthritis ACT was also announced by the government to provide an additional 688 hydrotherapy sessions a year at Aqua Harmony with two qualified staff members in attendance.
“We will engage with the community and stakeholders throughout this process to ensure we are delivering a modern facility that meets the needs of the community now and in the years to come,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.
Ms Stephen-Smith said there were benefits to co-locating the new hydrotherapy pool at an already-established facility.
“Extending the chosen site will mean we can benefit from shared front-of-house facilities, change rooms, car parking and plant equipment.
“We look forward to working with all parties to provide hydrotherapy services to people in Canberra’s southside.”