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Gungahlin swimming pool promise debate

By Gungahlin Al 27 October 2010 27

What’s a promise worth? At the ACT Assembly this afternoon MLAs will debate the August 2008 ALP pre-election promise that “Gungahlin residents to benefit from new 50m pool complex”.

Andrew Barr said at the time that it “will include a 50 metre pool, a 25 metre pool at least 1 court space, for example a netball court and associated amenities such as a café and gymnasium.” http://www.chiefminister.act.gov.au/media.php?v=7202

This was in line with very clear campaigning over several years by GCC based on community surveying that a 50-metre pool was needed, and that people were prepared to wait rather than accept just a 25-metre pool.

Well we have waited, but in recent weeks we’ve received an indication that the now renamed Aquatic and Leisure Centre will include many things but not a 50-metre pool! Gymnasium, sports medical services, and more have been deemed by the authorities as more ‘commercially viable’. They have had a feasibility study done that says you can’t run a 50-metre pool at a profit.

But since when has a local municipality providing core community services been about profits? Has the decision to build a library ever been predicated on it being able to turn a profit? Of course not.

Learn-to-swim classes are critical for Gungahlin families who currently have to commute out to swim classes elsewhere in Canberra. But as everyone knows, these classes totally dominate the 25-metre pool at each centre every afternoon and Saturday – at the very times people also want to train.

We also know that the sport of swimming deserves a far higher prominence in our schools. In other parts of the country, kids train all year to get ready for summer swimming competitions that bring the school together in a big carnival. In Canberra swimming competitions are almost afterthoughts, that are held within weeks of the school year starting.

When I was a Councillor in Queensland, I chaired the Sunshine Coast Water Safety Advisory Committee. For all the emergency services members of that committee, the number one concern was inland residents holidaying on the coast who could not swim well enough.

Now I live in an inland city and I can see how this comes about. (Incidentally, in our Council we had three 50-metre and twice as many 25-metre pools for a population of just 115,000! We knew they didn’t make money and we budgeted accordingly because they were core services.)

Jeremy Hanson clearly reads GCC newsletters, and is bringing the issue to the Assembly’s attention today. I hope the Greens will also call the ACT Government to account on keeping their election promises.

We’ve only got space for one such centre in our town, and we are building this town centre for the population of 90-100,000 that we’ll have very soon. The facilities need to match that projected population.


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27 Responses to
Gungahlin swimming pool promise debate
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farnarkler 11:58 pm 29 Oct 10

Hehehehe to the inhabitants of Canberra South of Mount Taylor and North-East of Giralang, why do you torture yourselves living in such ghettos?

rosebud 6:18 pm 29 Oct 10

G Al. Ice skating outdoors in winter. What a FANTASTIC idea! Love it.

Gungahlin Al 5:22 pm 29 Oct 10

housebound said :

This post was about political parties regaining power by making promises, then later breaking them.

Does Gungahlin NEED a pool? Well, it wouldn’t hurt, and most towns of the population of Gungahlin would have one, and you might as well build it right first time … or we’ll end up with the GPE.

“GPE” – ha! Like it. 🙂

Woody: you are, as always, you.

housebound 4:17 pm 29 Oct 10

This post was about political parties regaining power by making promises, then later breaking them.

Does Gungahlin NEED a pool? Well, it wouldn’t hurt, and most towns of the population of Gungahlin would have one, and you might as well build it right first time … or we’ll end up with the GPE.

rosscoact 4:05 pm 29 Oct 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

I’m trying to picture how a pool would look in Gungahlistan. I imagine there’d be no grassed areas, triple-wide car parks and gigantic plasma screens on the roof so you could float on your back and not miss Jersey Shore.

Not on this side of heaven, such a place, oi vey

Woody Mann-Caruso 3:11 pm 29 Oct 10

cry themselves a river

Fried gold with bacon.

georgesgenitals 2:27 pm 29 Oct 10

Perhaps the good people of Gungahlin could cry themselves a river, and then swim in it…

Woody Mann-Caruso 2:16 pm 29 Oct 10

Yeah, Woody Man has it so right… NOT.

Thanks? Like, I totally couldn’t have impersonated a better stereotypical Gunghalistinian if I tried? You know what I mean? LOL this is totally going on ma facebookz!

If you feel your area is under-serviced

We don’t. We think our areas are serviced just fine. This makes us wonder why you think your area isn’t, when you have ready access to three times as many pools in the same radius as somebody from Banks – and their pool is pretty much permanently set at 25m, not 50m. God, how do they all cope down there in the deep south? Where is their Moses, their Spartacus – their Gungahlin Al?

Belco is 20 minutes away for most of us not 10.

First, I never said anything about 10 minutes (or any other time), so put down the crack pipe, honky. Second, here are the distances from the Marketplace in Google Maps:

To Cisac: 10.2km
To Dickson Aquatic Centre: 10.1km
To Swim and Fitness at the AIS: 10.7km

Time suggested by the always conservative ‘it’s hours to your local shops’ Google Maps? 20 minutes.

My, you say, but that’s such a long time. We poor Gunghalistinians can’t possibly be away from our native concrete for that long or we start to feel like listening to ABC News Radio, reading books and having less than one bathroom per extended family member. You people in the inner suburbs have things so much easier.

So how far is it from Fadden to the pool at Tuggers? 8.3km, 17 minutes. What about Gordon? 19 minutes. What about Banks? Oh look – it’s further away than from Gungahlin to the salubrious CISAC – 10.5km, 21 minutes. But is the forum full of people from Banks whining about not having their own 50m pool? No, because they’re not self-entitled little sooks in Banks.

Take your taxpayer funded water park – which I’m sure will never have any problems with parking or bookings or space, despite you claiming you’ll have ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE living there by next Thursday – and be grateful.

Gungahlin Al 12:22 pm 28 Oct 10

rosebud said :

Build a lagoon like they have at Redcliffe in QLD. It’s got artificial beaches and islands and a long deep channel in the middle for doing laps (around the islands). There’s also a big playground off to one side. There’s BBQs and grassy areas and a couple of old-time-looking change rooms. All free, all for the public good. A real adventure for the whole family.

Ha! And in winter with a little bit of chilling we can have a NY Central Park-style ice skating rink!

I’m disappointed that some commenters are quick to jump on a “we don’t have one so why should you?” slant. Toss in the same sort of near-horizon problems that seem to plague too many people within the ACT Govt…

This isn’t about us/them. If you feel your area is under-serviced then get involved with your own community councils and help them do something about it.

It is about keeping a political party to their election promises. See their own media release.

And it is about building a whole new town that in just 4 years has gone from 32 to 42,000 people and will likely be at 60,000 within the next 4 years, and near capacity within the next 10.

We have only one city centre site that can accommodate a fully equipped aquatic centre, as long as that is what it is and it doesn’t try to replicate things that are already under construction right next door as part of the college campus, or more rightly belong in the (also next door) town centre.

WMC: on other pools, Belco is 20 minutes away for most of us not 10. The AIS does swim schools OK but has very limited availability for swim training and pleasure. CISAC is a parking, management and safety nightmare (in my personal opinion/experience). Dickson being outdoors closes for half the year and is bloody freezing for kids doing classes the rest of the year.

p1 11:16 am 28 Oct 10

I understand that the 50 meter pool will be built at the same time as the also promised dragway.

LeeWee74 11:03 am 28 Oct 10

Yeah, Woody Man has it so right… NOT. Have you ever actually been to Gungahlin? I don’t think so.

Canberra needs more public pools, it’s not like we have any natural waterways or beaches to swim in, and the ones we do have are usually clogged up with blue-green algae by summer anyway.

The point is that we were promised a 50m pool and we were lied to, again. A 25m pool will do nothing in gungahlin except fail. I certainly wont take my kids to a pool that will be overcrowded and (more than likely) overpriced.

Fail ACT Gov’t… FAIL.

PS. #9… bwahahahahah! That is classic.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:59 am 28 Oct 10

I’m trying to picture how a pool would look in Gungahlistan. I imagine there’d be no grassed areas, triple-wide car parks and gigantic plasma screens on the roof so you could float on your back and not miss Jersey Shore.

Keijidosha 9:33 am 28 Oct 10

Pork Hunt said :

amarooresident3 said :

Pools are not core services.

What? So the same goes for ovals, picnic areas, parks and other recreational facilities?

Judging by the appalling state of the public oval adjacent to my house I would say that very little in the ACT is considered a core service – unless it produces a healthy revenue stream of course.

postmanpat 10:02 pm 27 Oct 10

Haven’t been to the Tuggeranong pool for some months but whenever I frequented the place it had the boom out on the 50m pool making 2 x 25m pools anyway. I don’t quite get that. By the sounds of it maybe it has changed of late?

georgesgenitals 7:45 pm 27 Oct 10

Why the hell would anyone want a pool 50 metres deep? Even 25 metres is deeper than I can dive!

JC 7:39 pm 27 Oct 10

deezagood said :

Al,

I don’t think we have a 50m swimming pool in Tuggers (Tuggers is 25 and Erindale is 25 … not sure about Philip?); in fact we often head to your side of town for the nice, big pools at CISAC, AIS and Jameson. I think it might be hard to justify a 50m pool when the world-class AIS and CISAC facilities are just 10 minutes away from Gungahlan.

From the Tuggeranong pool website “Lakeside Leisure Centre is located at the corner of Anketell St and Athllon Drive in Greenway and is the only 50 metre pool in the Tuggeranong Valley.”

Also the 3rd pool you mention is actualy in Jamison aka Macquarie not Jameson.

Pork Hunt 7:10 pm 27 Oct 10

amarooresident3 said :

Pools are not core services.

What? So the same goes for ovals, picnic areas, parks and other recreational facilities?

laughtong 6:21 pm 27 Oct 10

Tuggeranong Pool can be set to either 25m or 50m with a movable boom thing.

If a pool is to be built out there definitely make it 50m with a boom.

Also consult and listen to the swimming community to avoid some of the errors made at CISAC.

el 6:17 pm 27 Oct 10

sepi said :

Build a 50m pool.

No, build a 25 metre pool with only two lanes, then promise to upgrade it to 50 metres x 8 lanes in five years time.

A Noisy Noise Annoys An Oyster 5:58 pm 27 Oct 10

deezagood said :

Al,

I don’t think we have a 50m swimming pool in Tuggers (Tuggers is 25 and Erindale is 25 … not sure about Philip?); in fact we often head to your side of town for the nice, big pools at CISAC, AIS and Jameson. I think it might be hard to justify a 50m pool when the world-class AIS and CISAC facilities are just 10 minutes away from Gungahlan.

Yes there’s a 50m pool in Tuggers – the Lakeside Leisure Centre. I go there every morning. Didn’t the ACT Government say something about people in Gungahlin being able to use the pool the little darlings at Bimberi Holiday Camp have?

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