Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 May 2022) . . Page.. 1177 ..
MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, last year the ACT government stated that it wanted to build a hydrotherapy pool in the south of Canberra. At this time the government said its preferred site was at the Lakeside Leisure Centre in Tuggeranong. Is that still the case, and can you provide an update on the scoping work for a hydrotherapy pool?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Davis for the question. Yes, that is still the case. The government, of course, recognises the value of hydrotherapy as an ongoing therapeutic activity for many people with chronic illness, to maintain their mobility, to manage their pain and to foster overall wellbeing.
The ACT government has committed to delivering a hydrotherapy pool for the south side of Canberra. This was a 2020 ACT election commitment. In the 2020-21 budget the ACT government provided $250,000 to develop early design and costings work for the development of a new south side hydrotherapy pool. This work included targeted community consultation and has informed the development of a business case for the 2022-23 ACT budget.
Key outcomes of the approach to date have confirmed that Tuggeranong Lakeside Leisure Centre is a suitable location, and has received feedback on important issues relating to design and accessibility. Stakeholders who were consulted and engaged through this process included Arthritis ACT, Health Care Consumers Association, Tuggeranong Community Council, Sharing Places and a small number of individual community members.
In March 2022 two additional workshops were held to support community and stakeholder input into the operation of a future south side hydrotherapy pool. Through those workshops there has been general agreement that building the pool adjacent to a current facility was supported, and the operation of a hydrotherapy pool should be open for similar hours to the public pool. Public access to the pool is important, and the operational model should be flexible to ensure significant access times and an ability to deliver some scheduled classes and bookings at times.
The provision of some useful hydrotherapy exercise equipment will be important and, because hydrotherapy can be expensive, the charging model needs to be conscious of its impact, as good preventive treatment such as hydrotherapy can offset more costly treatment. (Time expired.)
MR DAVIS: Minister, as the Lakeside Leisure Centre is currently run by the YMCA, will the hydrotherapy pool be contracted to the YMCA or run by the ACT government?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Davis for the question. Those are exactly the kinds of issues that the government will be working through in response to the feedback from the community. But it is positive to have that feedback that Tuggeranong Lakeside Leisure Centre was identified as a suitable location.