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YMCA NSW gets nod to operate Stromlo Aquatic Centre

Ian Bushnell 4 March 2020 30
Stromlo Leisure Centre

Taking shape: the 50-metre pool at the new Stromlo Leisure Centre. Photos: Ian Bushnell.

YMCA NSW has won the right to manage the new $36 million Stromlo Leisure Centre, bringing to four the number of aquatic centres it operates in the ACT.

Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry made the official announcement at a walk-through of the nearly completed facility at Stromlo Forest Park on Tuesday.

The not-for-profit organisation already operates the Canberra Olympic Pool in the city, Lakeside Leisure Centre in Tuggeranong and the Gungahlin Leisure Centre in the north, and will be offering memberships across all four facilities.

It has been contracted until 30 June 2022 in a deal worth $614,000, with the Stromlo centre due to open in the first half of this year.

Set on a hill with commanding views of Molonglo and the National Arboretum, Stromlo Leisure Centre will service the Weston Creek, Woden and Molonglo communities, and will include an eight-lane 50-metre competition pool capable of being split into two 25-metre short-course swimming pools, a learn-to-swim pool, a leisure pool, and a splash pad and slide.

The toddlers' pool

The Stromlo Aquatic Centre will include a learn-to-swim pool, leisure pool, and a splash pad and slide for toddlers.

The centre will also offer a gym, male and female amenities, family change rooms, crêche and a kiosk/cafe.

The centre will open every day of the year (except Good Friday and Christmas Day), Monday to Friday from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm; Saturday from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm; and public holidays from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Entry fees are yet to be set but will be the subject of consultation with the community, YMCA general manager Michelle Nolland said.

But according to the tender released last year, possible entry fees will be $7.50 in 2019-20 for standard entry (rising to $8 in 2020-21); concession casual entry $5.30 (then $5.60); pensioner casual entry $4 (unchanged in 2020-21); disabled casual entry, free; and family casual entry $19.55 (and $20.40).

As with other ACT pools of this size, there will be multi-visit packages and memberships available.

Recreational facilities are so important for bringing communities together and making sure that everyone has the chance to get active. The Stromlo Leisure Centre is really coming along and it’s looking fantastic.When it’s completed mid-2020 the keys will be given to YMCA NSW to open and operate the centre. Thanks everyone for coming along to check it out today. I look forward to seeing you all at the opening event later this year.Woden Valley Community CouncilWeston Creek Community CouncilChris Steel MLA Bec Cody for Murrumbidgee YMCA NSW

Posted by Yvette Berry on Monday, 2 March 2020

The centre operator will set commercial pool hire and lane hire fees, and be responsible for completing an annual review of non-core fees and submitting an annual fees proposal to ACT Property Group.

Ms Nolland said the Y would now be meeting with clubs, schools and community groups as part of an intensive consultation period ahead of opening.

“We really want to embed ourselves [in the community]. Being a not-for-profit community organisation, we are looking to reinvest back into the community programs that will benefit local residents,” she said.

Ms Nolland said the Y was also a registered training organisation and would be able to train people, for example, to be lifeguards.

The splash pad and slide

The splash pad and slide is coming together.

The centre would start off employing 50 to 60 staff during the cooler months, building to about 100 in the summer months.

In addition to its ACT sites, YMCA NSW also manages 13 pools across NSW, as well as a range of community and youth services, and it says that the successful tender bid solidifies its position as a leader in recreational facility management.

“The Y NSW is thrilled to have been awarded the opportunity to deliver our fitness and aquatic expertise for such an impressive centre,” CEO Susannah Le Bron said.

“This contract is a continuation of our strong partnership with the ACT Government at the Canberra Olympic Pool, Gungahlin Leisure Centre and Lakeside Leisure Centre, and we are looking forward to providing even more opportunities for health, wellness and community connection for the great people of the Territory.”

Area Manager Mathew Pole said the Y would offer flexible membership options.

“We will also be offering membership options with access across our other three facilities in the ACT to make sure whenever you are in the Territory, you have access to incredible facilities and programming,” he said.

The main entrance

The steps from the car park leading up to the main entrance.

Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry said the facility, being built by Kane Constructions, was on track for a handover in the latter part of the first half of this year, and the Territory would work with YMCA NSW on confirming an opening date to announce soon.

She said the facility would serve more than 100,000 Canberrans in Weston Creek, Woden and the Molonglo Valley.

“Facilities like this are so important for bringing active communities together especially in an area like this with lots of young families. It’s also important that everyone has an equal opportunity to participate,” she said.

“The centre will be accessible to all Canberrans and host to a range of activities like learn to swim classes, aqua aerobics, and various types of warm water and gentle exercise programs.”

The centre would complement other facilities nearby such as the world-class mountain bike trails, a criterium circuit, running tracks, equestrian trails and the relocated container village from West Basin.

The exterior of the Stromlo Aquatic Centre

The imposing facility is being built by Kane Constructions.


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30 Responses to YMCA NSW gets nod to operate Stromlo Aquatic Centre
John Moulis John Moulis 11:43 am 06 Mar 20

I just hope the pool won’t be constantly clogged with swim squads and learn to swim classes like the Tuggeranong Lakeside Centre is. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve gone there and have been unable to have a swim because there were already 3 or 4 people in the remaining lanes of the pool.

Sarah Emmerson Sarah Emmerson 12:09 am 06 Mar 20

Dory are you going to have a splash in here?

Nicole McGuire Nicole McGuire 6:34 pm 05 Mar 20

Have you seen how filthy the Tuggeranong facility is that they manage. Plus they can’t keep staff or maintain group classes.

Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 10:38 pm 04 Mar 20

It is a very impressive structure. And fits well inside the concept of the park. The people of Weston Creek and the Molonglo Valley will really appreciate this addition to their infrastructure for many years to come. Now how about getting Coombs shopping centre sorted?

    Laura Frame Laura Frame 10:03 am 06 Mar 20

    Bill Gemmell and more cops so that the one store we have doesnt get broken into every other day. :(

    Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 6:36 pm 06 Mar 20

    Laura Frame perhaps you should see my comments on Weston Creek Community Council's FB page

    Laura Frame Laura Frame 6:44 pm 06 Mar 20

    Bill Gemmell will check out 😀

Deneze Saillard Deneze Saillard 9:52 pm 04 Mar 20

Looking quite impressive🇦🇺

Sean Seamstress Sean Seamstress 9:00 pm 04 Mar 20

Matt Duncan groundbreaking

Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 8:55 pm 04 Mar 20

What is the town planning rule of pools to population? West Belco-Ginninderry: zero public pool for 45k plus people.... beware of moving to badly planned Ginninderry.....

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 10:34 pm 04 Mar 20

    Vanessa Jones I can hear a broken record.

    Belconnen of which West Belconnen is a part has pools in the town centre (whoda thought???) plus Jamison and AIS at Bruce.

    David Eschbach David Eschbach 6:55 am 05 Mar 20

    Vanessa Jones I’m curious on your badly planned, care to elaborate?

    Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 2:07 pm 05 Mar 20

    David Eschbach Hi David, I think each area should get a fair share of govt funding, ie one public pool per 45,000 people, container depots per population, water refill stations per area etc. West Belconnen residents pay rates but we have zero of some facilities in our area. It's a safe Labor voting area and deserves normal facilities. It also now has Ginninderry. We keep the ACT Labor govt in power via our voting patterns. I think each area should have a fair distribution of funding, per area. Kippax used to have a pool. You are welcome to follow my Facebook page called Canberra Ideas, about what our area needs. Ashley seems to like making comments about what I say on Facebook, I ignore him. Obviously Ashley disagrees with me, often. I'l just keep commenting, and it's up to him to continue his criticisms of me, or not, his choice. Maybe he's connected to ACT Labor? I am glad to say that since campaigning to improve West Belco, our city now has green waste bins (one of my election policies, copied by Labor), also my policies included container recycling depots for Canberra, copied by Labor, now done, I campaigned for weekend rapid buses to Kippax, now done and going on each 30 minutes on weekends, and a My Way ticket charging machine at Kippax newsagent- done. I also pushed for the container recyling depots for West Belco, then we got them in Hawker and Charnwood- they left us out, as usual, from the distribution. So, I focus on the severe neglect of Labor's safe voting West Belconnen, and I aim to improve its severe neglect from a Labor govt of 20 odd years. I think safe Labor areas deserve normal levels of facilities.

    Kieran Angus Kieran Angus 2:20 pm 05 Mar 20

    Vanessa Jones You're in luck! The district of Belconnen, of which West Belconnen is a part, has 3 public pools to 95k people! That's one per ~32k people, well exceeding your target.

    Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 2:38 pm 05 Mar 20

    Kieran Angus West Belco is a different area, go for a walk- no public pool. Bit of a geography lesson there....

    Kieran Angus Kieran Angus 2:40 pm 05 Mar 20

    Vanessa Jones West belconnen is part of the district of belconnen...

    Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 2:43 pm 05 Mar 20

    Kieran Angus There is no public pool in West Belco. West Belco has 45,000 plus people, plus now Ginninderry as an area west of West Belconnen..... a big area with zero public pool. Ginninderry also has zero public pool- oh no, another area with zero pool..... holy cow!! It's getting even worse, more people, less facilities, how Labor....

    Kieran Angus Kieran Angus 2:47 pm 05 Mar 20

    It's ok though Vanessa, because there's three public pools within a district, a short drive away from kippax, within the same district! Pools for days!

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 3:05 pm 05 Mar 20

    Wow and I thought people in Tuggeranong liked to whinge because they were not getting money spent on them. Look at all of South Canberra and there is 1 outdoor pool in Phillip and an indoor pool at Deakin. Nothing in Weston Creek or Molonglo which at least has the Tuggeranong parkway dividing it. West Belconnen is a part of the Belconnen district. It has three pools. Almost as bad as when Zed was promising a brand new pool in Lanyon, because the 5 minute drive to Tuggeranong pool was too far and no one swims in the rivers nearby anymore.

    Mark Dando Mark Dando 4:57 pm 05 Mar 20

    Thing is Vanessa, when you're claiming high-rise developments are a blight on your neighbourhood, you're referring to the Belconnen town centre, but suddenly it becomes a completely separate area when it has a modern indoor swimming pool.

    David Eschbach David Eschbach 7:13 pm 05 Mar 20

    Vanessa Ginninderry is going to bring plenty of schools, shopping centres, recreational facilities, restaurants. The Government is spending money on infrastructure to make this happen in partnership with Ginninderry. I dare say your West Belconnen area might be well looked after in the the next 10 years

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 1:59 am 06 Mar 20

    Vanessa Jones isn’t Charnwood in West Belconnen? So how did West Belconnen miss out on container recycling when it was installed in Charnwood.

    Also you keep claiming 45,000 live in West Belconnen, care to tell us what suburbs are in this mysterious area? 45,000 is about half the population of the whole district of Belconnen.

    As I’ve mentioned before I lived in Macgregor and Dunlop between 1978 and 2014 and I fail to see most of the issues that you constantly whinge about, not in the time I lived in those suburbs did I consider West Belconnen to not be part of Belconnen.

    And no I don’t belong to ACT Labor, I just call BS out when I see BS.

Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 8:53 pm 04 Mar 20

I love the Diving tower they included for the ACT diving community, oh wait that’s right, they didn’t.

    Tanya Evans Tanya Evans 10:31 am 05 Mar 20

    Marc Edwards agree. A great opportunity to look after a small community group and failed

Shannon Lee Shannon Lee 8:38 pm 04 Mar 20

Alison Hume our new swimming venue 😁😁

Nikki Warren Nikki Warren 8:07 pm 04 Mar 20

Adam McEvoy check it

Hacey Bunn Hacey Bunn 8:03 pm 04 Mar 20

Darren look at that roof 😍

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