Pools and Facilities
Sport and Recreation Facilities is responsible for the planning, development, management and maintenance of all ACT Government sport and recreation facilities such as sportsgrounds, aquatic/leisure facilities and Community Recreation Irrigated Parks.
Proposed new fees ensure long-term sustainability of ACT Government pools
The ACT Government is proposing to increase pool fees at its public pools. The pools being considered are Lakeside Leisure Centre in Tuggeranong, Gungahlin Leisure Centre, Canberra Olympic Pool in the City, Dickson Pool, Manuka Pool and Active Leisure Centre in Erindale.
Director of Active Canberra, Jenny Priest said the proposed fee structure seeks to ensure the pools remain sustainable and accessible to the community now and in the future, which is so important in providing a variety of options for people to participate in active healthy lifestyles.
“Fees at our public pools have remained low and some fees are even lower than in 2011. However, the costs associated with operating pools have significantly increased in that time and evidence shows that fees and charges at ACT Government owned public pools are generally below those at comparable facilities in other jurisdictions,” said Ms Priest.
“Utility costs have increased by more than 30 percent and some staff wages have increased by more than 16 percent. Both make up more than 70 percent of operational costs for the pool facilities. In 2015-16, the government spent over $3.5 million operating, maintaining and upgrading the Territory’s public pools.
“The ACT Government contributes approximately $4.20 for every person that visits a Territory-owned public pool.
“A recent Market Attitude Research survey found more than 80% of pool users were satisfied with their overall pool experience,” Ms Priest said.
A full list of proposed entry fee increases is available via Proposed Staging of ACT Government Pool Fees 2016- 2021 (PDF 79KB) Proposed Staging of ACT Government Pool Fees 2016- 2021 (Word 85KB) . The intention is that these increases would be implemented over the next four years.
The table below details the proposed casual entry fees for ACT Government public pools over four years:
ACT Government Casual Pool Entry Fees 2016-2021
Under 3 years
*Dickson Pool Family entry fee will remain at $19 until 2019-20 and Manuka Pool will remain $20 until 2020-21.
Membership fees would also increase, however a new fee class is proposed to make it cheaper for pensioners to access public pool facilities.
“Under the proposed changes people with a disability and children under three years of age will continue to access and use public pools for free.
“The proposed change will not impact swimming lesson fees, which will continue to be set by the private providers of these lessons. The changes do not apply to privately owned public pools” Ms Priest said.
Community consultation on proposed increases of facility fees and charges for ACT Government pools closed on 12 May 2017. Government is now considering the feedback received prior to implementing arrangements in the coming months.
Regulation of Water Safety in ACT Public Pools
The Public Pools Act 2015 commenced on 1 July 2015 and provides a modern and flexible administrative framework to support contemporary management practices for Territory‑owned public pools.
A Discussion Paper was released in 14 December 2015 and the consultation period closed on 26 February 2016.
The Discussion Paper sought community and industry views on whether the new legislation should apply to all pools that are open to and used by the public in the Territory (including privately-owned pools) and, if so, to what extent it should apply.
Following consideration of the consultation outcomes, the ACT Government has decided not to regulate privately-owned public pools at this time, for the following reasons:
- The industry has well respected and strong peak bodies and associations that support the effective management and safety initiatives for public pools.
- There is no evidence of market failure and regulation of these pools would at this stage be an unnecessary government intervention. Regulation would result in additional costs to industry, which may be passed on to consumers.
- Other market forces drive safety standards at pool facilities through alternative mechanisms such as the ability to secure public liability insurance at a reasonable cost.
- The community is well served by facilities that meet contemporary water safety standards. The Territory invests significantly in providing community facilities that meet the high standards of regulation under the Act.