8 September 2023

Test the waters of southside's new hydrotherapy pool by checking out this DA

| Albert McKnight
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Southside hydrotherapy pool

An artist’s image of the future southside hydrotherapy pool, construction of which is expected to start this year. Photo: Built For Cbr.

While it is still too early to dip your toes into the water, members of the community can now get an idea of what Canberra’s new hydrotherapy pool will look like and give their feedback on the proposal.

The development application for the new $8.5 million hydrotherapy pool, which advocates say is both much-needed and long-awaited, in the southern end of the city has opened for public consultation.

It’s expected construction will start at the Lakeside Leisure Centre in Greenway this year and finish in 2024.

ACT Health says the pool will provide people with mobility issues access to an important form of recreation, as well as help people manage chronic pain caused by illnesses such as cancer, migraine, osteoarthritis and arthritis.

Hydrotherapy can also help those recovering from injury or surgery.

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“Arthritis, Pain Support & ME/CFS ACT are pleased to see that this long-needed and awaited infrastructure project is finally coming to fruition,” Arthritis ACT CEO Rebecca Davey said.

“This type of infrastructure is imperative in supporting those in our community with any sort of chronic pain condition, be it related to arthritis, other disability or injury recovery.

“A dose of hydrotherapy leads to much better health and wellbeing outcomes than taking pills and being isolated in your home because of the effect of poor pain management.”

Ms Davey said these plans for the southside facility were long overdue, but were very exciting.

She said a hydrotherapy pool was different to a normal pool as it “tricks the brain” into thinking it’s receiving pain relief. Some have told her organisation that an hour in such a pool was equal to two days of pain relief.

“Hydrotherapy basically keeps people going,” she said.

“We have people that go every single day to hydrotherapy pools because there is no other option for their pain relief.

“Most importantly, it keeps them out of hospital.”

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the proposed design was presented to pool-users and other stakeholders to seek feedback earlier this year.

“In response, and as part of the final design, we have included enhanced shower facilities, an accessible gender-inclusive change room and additional seating around the pool,” she said.

“The new hydrotherapy pool will be a modern facility that meets the needs of the community now and in the years to come.”

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She said this DA was the last stage of the process before turning the sod for construction of the important facility for Canberra’s south.

She also said the progress of the project had been partly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the government had been informed of the high level of demand for hydrotherapy access in the north of Canberra as well.

The DA is available for community members to view and comment on until 22 September.

For more information about the designs of the facility, click here.

The ACT Government committed $8.5 million over three years in the 2022-23 ACT Budget for the design and construction of the new facility.

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