Weston Creek Community Council
your local voice
Postal Address: PO Box 3701 Weston Creek ACT 2611
Phone: 6288 8975
Fax: 6288 9179
Web site: http://www2.dynamite.com.au/wccc
Minutes of the WCCC Monthly Meeting
Wednesday 24 March 1999
SWIMMING POOL IN WESTON CREEK?
Bob Sutherland welcomed the public, members of the Committee and John Raut of the Phillip Swimming and Ice-Skating Centre to the meeting.
A number of issues which were on the flyer delivered to all letterboxes in Weston Creek during the week were covered before Mr Raut spoke.
The meeting was advised of the progress of the obvious construction work in Brierley /Trenerry Streets and the new round-about at Brierley & Liardet Streets.
The WCCC is on a group, with traders and tenants, to investigate the improvement of the public open spaces surrounding the Rivett shops.
John Raut advised the meeting that he has been the Manager of the pool facility for 19 years and the ice skating rink was established in 1980. The pool previously attracted between 200,000 and 220,000 people per year (over the 5-month swimming season). Since the Tuggeranong complex had opened this has fallen to 35,000. This compares with the quoted attendance at Tuggeranong of 470,000 pa. The pool water temperature was maintained at 27-deg c.
Mr Raut advised that the Phillip Pool was an unsubsidised pool compared to Erindale and Tuggeranong both of which received government subsidies. It was indicated that Tuggeranong and Erindale did not meet realistic commercial costs. The building of the ice skating facility was when the subsidy was foregone by the Phillip Pool. Mr Raut advised that Erindale and Tuggeranong pools had repair and maintenance carried out by the ACT government and this was not available to Phillip Pool.
Phillip Pool is catering for family groups in the traditional park-like setting of swimming pools. Comment from the attendees was that other pools relied on lap swimmers, family groups, swim schools and aerobics/gyms. The demographics of the local suburbs had a major impact on attendances at Phillip.
Issues for Phillip Pool is the close proximity of a gym and another disincentive for attendance is the cost of parking, which is not an impost on the attendance at other pools.
Specific questions were asked of the pools operation and these included; problems with the showers heating (a new RINAI system was installed by the ACT government); uneven paving was the cause of an accident to a customer and this was repaired by the ACT Government; bindis in the grass lawn - the issue is the proximity of un-maintained open areas nearby as a seed source; and the issue of the operation of the water slide - this operates from 11am to 5pm. Some comments were made that the pool is one of the cleanest in Canberra.
Given the answers to the above issues it was raised that the Phillip pool was not in receipt of Government assistance for repair and maintenance - this appeared contradictory.
There was extensive debate on the costs to operate a pool as well as the number of people in a catchment area for a pool to be profitable. The issue of cross-funding from gyms/aerobics and the numbers of people required to support a pool were the source of animated debate.
The provision of a facility in Weston Creek was raised. Mr Sutherland indicated that a joint venture with a club, as well as assistance in the provision of land by the ACT government appeared to be prerequisites for any proposal for pool facility in Weston Creek. Any facility would need a capital injection as well as private sector involvement and need to show commercial viability.
Bob Sutherland provided a summary of the meeting and thanked Mr Raut for attending to answer questions. There appeared to be a need to determine how the residents of Weston Creek could best utilise the Phillip Pool and whether further expenditure on Phillip pool was warranted was an issue that required further consideration and debate. The status of lease and the lease negotiations was of interest to Weston creek redescents. Mr Sutherland concluded by suggesting that an innovative approach was needed to satisfy demands of residents yet deliver a reasonable and commercially viable outcome.
Meeting Closed 9.35pm
Next Meeting Wednesday 28th April 1999