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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2021) . . Page.. 393 ..

We are working with the courts to make sure that they have adequate resources to do the job they need to do. The government has also spent significant money on building a new court building in recent years. Members will be well aware of that. (Time expired.)

Gungahlin—swimming pool

MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Sport and Recreation. Minister, yesterday’s budget referred to “repairing Gungahlin Leisure Centre”, which opened just six years ago and cost $28 million but has been closed for almost one year. The budget did not reveal how much it would cost to fix the pool, and there was no time line about when that would be done. Canberra Swimming Club’s membership is down 25 per cent and their 200 squad swimmers have lost their home pool and are crammed into the Olympic pool. Minister, why won’t your Labor-Greens government tell the community how much of their money you will take to fix this mess?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Castley for the question. I know and understand the frustration of the Gungahlin community and members in this place about the closure of Gungahlin pool. There are significant issues around the tiling and membrane which need to be repaired.

But of course making sure that the tender process has appropriate governance around it—making sure that the price is not put out there, so that the tender process can be conducted appropriately—is the best way to ensure that the tender meets the needs of the community and resolves the issues at the Gungahlin pool as soon as possible. Part of that tender process will be about time frames. As soon as the time frames are known then we can let the community and members of the Assembly know.

I have to say I am as frustrated as anyone else in this place, and the Gungahlin community, about the pool closure. I have asked the directorate on a number of occasions, almost weekly, about getting this pool opened as soon as possible. I will have advice and more details about the pool by Monday next week, which I am happy to share with the members in this place.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, do you agree the Gungahlin pool is a “state-of-the-art facility”, as hailed by then sports minister Barr six years ago, or would the description “a white elephant” be more apt?

MS BERRY: It is a state-of-the-art facility, but it does need some repair work done. That is being addressed by the ACT government.

MR COE: Minister, will the pool reopen this year? Will you provide to the Assembly a time line of work that has taken place already regarding assessing the damage and any rectification that has taken place since the pool was closed?

MS BERRY: I will check on the last part of the question, on the time frame and on what information I can provide to the Assembly. I will get some advice on that. I wish I could, today, give a date for when the pool will be reopened, but I just do not have that information with me and I will not know that until after the tender process.

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