1 November 2021

Tuggeranong ice sports proposal expected by the end of the year

| Max O'Driscoll
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Phillip ice rink

The ice rink in Phillip, the current home of CBR Brave, has long been considered “outdated”. Photo: File.

An official proposal for the new ice sport and skating facility in Tuggeranong will be submitted to the ACT Government before the end of the year.

South Australian-based Cruachan Investments will submit its official proposal in partnership with national construction and investment group Pelligra for the facility which will feature a twin Olympic-sized rink and skate centre and capacity for 2000 spectators.

The Tuggeranong site at Rowland Rees Crescent in Greenway is one of four ice rink projects the group has in the works across the country.

Director of Cruachan Investments Stephen Campbell said, ideally, construction would commence in June 2022. It is estimated the facility will take 18 months to complete, which would see it open around the end of 2023/start of 2024.

In Budget Estimates on Friday (29 October), Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry said she was excited by how the project was currently tracking.

“We worked with the ice skating and sports community about a proposal and a vision for a sporting establishment that really lifted the aspirations of all the young people and others. Having a twin Olympic-size rink/skate centre was the dream of these organisations for many, many years before the commitment was made by the ACT Government,” Ms Berry said.

“It’s moving along, and we’ve been keeping engaged with the ice sports and skating community. They’ve been really integral in providing advice to the government about what’s going to work for those communities.”

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

When questioned about the potential for additional sporting facilities to be located at the Tuggeranong site, Ms Berry said fitting two Olympic-sized ice rinks on the site would be a challenge in itself. However, she said if something were proposed by the proponents that could fit on the site, the government would consider it.

One of the parties that will benefit most from a state of the art ice sports facility will be CBR Brave, Canberra’s ice hockey team. CBR Brave president Sunny Singh explained the project will be in high demand by the ice sports community.

“Any talk of a new rink gets our community buzzing and any progress is met with a great response,” he said.

“The club has come such a long way. This is the next step in taking all ice sports in Canberra to the next level.”

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Where’s the Tuggeranong Council on the promised Ice Rink? They should be beating the drum loudly for new Infrastructure in Tuggeranong.

Better late than never. ACT Government really needs to come to the party here. Otherwise it’ll become another empty promise for Tuggeranong where the government wants the private sector to do the heavy lifting.

Got to wonder if it stacks up financially – I know the Government had said previously it would throw some money in, but wonder if its enough to make it happen.

Yep good point. Like many arts or sporting facilities the return on investment for the community is non financial.

Why not claim the rise in Tuggeranong property values in your business case, that’s how you get Canberra infrastructure projects to show a positive ROI. 😉

Hahaha absolutely – that’ll fix it.

I’m sure the business case itself probably broadly stacks up for ongoing operation of the facility (i.e. it’ll comfortably break even in general operations), but be surprised if once upfront capital is taken into account. That seems to be the issue in South Australia as I understand it from what I’ve read, and surely the same here.

It will require an ongoing contribution per annum from ACT Gov to break even. That’s after a major capital contribution. The group ‘building’ it seem like chancers to me

Agree Heavs. It was a very weird election promise from the ACT government to build an Ice Rink in Tuggeranong and then announce a private consortium partner who doesn’t have a good track record in actually delivering Ice Rinks.

Different approach to other ACT government election promises such as the Gungahlin Pool, New indoor tennis centre at Gungahlin or the Stromlo Leisure Centre which were less reliant on what the private partner bought to the table. .

I suspect that if enough is tipped in up front on capital contribution, a facility would be relatively self sustaining and probably not need an ongoing subsidy – after all, the Philip ice rink has largely subsidised the pool which surely must cost a small motza (and while I’m sure there may be some government contributions mixed in, I doubt they are significant) for a fair while – current difficulties not withstanding.

If that outdated facility is broadly profitable, then surely a high quality new facility that can offer a lot more then that should be profitable from an ongoing operational sense – assuming it isn’t trying to pay back a huge amount of capital $ over time.

But yes, have to wonder about the group building them given what is going on (or not going on) with the proposed South Australian facility.

Hopefully this goes better than their SA ‘vision’. Can almost guarantee they will want at least a 75% commitment from ACT Government to make this a reality.

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