Will Stromlo Pool be the New Home of Diving?

On Friday the opportunity arose to ask the question about the possibility of a dive pool for the Stromlo Pool development. The Annual Report Hearings (available at Assemblies on Demand) have been a great opportunity to ask questions about the progress of government projects, and I raised the question about what the budgeted $33 million dollars would include at Stromlo Pool. This appears to be a large amount of money for just a pool – the pool at Gungahlin included at least a gym. So I asked what else would be included – a gym? An indoor sports facility? A dive pool? [2:26:50]

During the committee hearing, we were told that the fine details were still being worked through – though their own 2012 Molonglo Aquatic Sports and Recreation Centre Feasibility Study advised it from the outset. It seems odd that they still have to consider it? A “Have Your Say” survey recently closed – was this another case of a ‘limited review’ of what people wanted, to support the governments already pre-decided direction? It would appear that the decision was made even prior to the survey completion – the “Have Your Say” website states, “The new facility will include a 50 metre pool, program pool (used for learn to swim or aqua aerobics), reception, kiosk, administration area and change rooms.” But no mention of any other facilities.

We raised the question again later in the hearing (2:34:31) – in relation to the ongoing uncertainty of the Olympic Pool in the city. In response Jenny Priest, Director, Active Canberra, did say the Directorate would give consideration to making provision in the forthcoming design for a dive pool at Stromlo – but was then interrupted by the Minister, who directed the attention away from the question.

However, the Minister did then at least guarantee that the Olympic pool would not be closed until an alternative had been arranged. Possible options mooted were a new pool at ANU, or even the AIS. However, these are not yet available – or have moved beyond a conversation (i.e. a pool at ANU). The pool at Stromlo would be the nearest option at this time, and we hope that the directorate will in fact continue to consider this – we will continue to ask the questions of the government in the coming months.