- Meeting ID – 364 575 7423
Please join our hybrid meeting on Wednesday 1 December to discuss:
- a separated cycle path between Woden and the City
- the wildlife corridor along the fence line in Mawson (Caroline le Couteur, Friends of Mawson Ponds)
- Christmas nibbles
The meeting will be held on zoom and face to face at the Southern Cross Club
- The Phillip Pool will be closed for the 2021-22 summer season
- fix the pool and open it for the 2021-22 season
- find a long term solution to a 50m pool in Woden, either the Phillip Pool or a new site.
KEY MESSAGES / BENEFITS
Many residents want to keep the 50 year old Phillip Pool open for outdoor swimming and recreation for the whole community. There are many benefits:
- Safety – learn to swim
- Recreation facilities connect our growing community and are good for our physical and mental health
- participation in local activities brings people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds together and cultivates fun, relationships, and inspires a sense of belonging and community pride
- sporting facilities provide opportunities to build social capital and deliver long-term health and economic benefits
- bring activity to the centre and supports local small businesses
- Club swimming use 50m pools for long course training and competitions
- The Woden Town Centre:
- is the major social and economic hub in Canberra’s south servicing a large population
- is centrally located and is accessible by public transport which can reduce our dependency on cars
- The ACT Government owns the Dickson, Manuka, Greenway, Gungahlin and Molonglo pools. The management is contracted out.
- The Phillip Pool was sold with a 99 year lease in 2008
- The Phillip Pool:
- 16 October 1971 – 3 pools opened – the 5om pool, circular paddling pool, and learners’ pool
- 1979 – leased to Glencora Pty Ltd for 10 years – At the time there were concerns that a public facility was being handed over to the private sector and the tender did not include an ice rink.
- 1980 – the Ice Skating rink opened
- 2008 – the pool was leased (sold) for 99 years
- Woden has already lost pools
- 2009 – the 50m Oasis pool in Deakin closed because the management was unable to continue operating the facility
- The pool at the Deakin shops closed
The future of the Phillip Pool has been unsure for many years due to a lack of interest by the Government in finding a long term solution to retain the pool.
- In 2020 the Molonglo Pool opened; it has been reported that this is Woden’s pool too
- In 2020 the ACT Government committed to an ice rink in Tuggeranong which undermines the financial viability of the Phillip Swimming and Ice Centre.
- there is now little incentive for the owners to invest in the pool
- In 2008 the public pool was leased for 99 years
- The Lessee (Wayne Houghton, Director Glencore, Pty Ltd) pays rent to the ACT Government
- Purpose – public heated swimming pools, ice skating rink
- The Lessee shall at all times maintain, repair and keep in repair the premises to the satisfaction of the Authority
- If the Lessee is in breach of the obligation to maintain and repair the premises the Authority may by notice in writing to the Lessee specifying the repairs and maintenance needed require the Lessee to affect the necessary work in accordance with the notice
- If the Lessee does not carry out the required work within the time specified by the Authority, the Authority may authorise the work to be done by persons and the work shall be paid by the Lessee
- Termination – eg unpaid rent for 3 months, land not used for the purpose of the lease unless directed by the Territory, failure to remedy breaches
QUESTIONS FOR MLAs
- Is the lease a concessional lease?
- Will you advocate for the ACT Government to enforce the lease condition to maintain the pool and keep it open?
- Will you advocate for the development of a plan for a long term solution to a 50m pool and other community facilities in Woden?
I believe the ACT government should buy the pool back from the owners and refuse to change the lease purpose clause to residential or anything other than the current purpose. Woden community definitely need this pool. There’s nothing like swimming outdoors. More importantly there is a critical lack of “swimming lane space” in Canberra. Just ask any operator of one of the swimming schools or competition squads in Canberra. The Molonglo pool is already at full capacity. This community asset should NEVER have been sold in 2008.
My understanding is that the owners are a syndicate of doctors whose long term aim is to redevelop the site – especially since Covid hit. One can’t blame them but the community needs this asset back. It belonged to us and is one of the reasons we pay our taxes. We need to put pressure on our WV govt representatives. If this pool goes it will be a tragedy. I live in Lyons.