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.
New fee structure ensures long-term sustainability of ACT Government pools
Following community and industry consultation, a new method of calculating fees at ACT Government pools has been adopted to minimise barriers to participation and ensure all Canberrans have the opportunity to access the social, health and physical activity benefits of using our public pools.
The new fees guidelines provide the most support to people who are currently least likely or able to access public pools, balancing the needs of the community with recognition of the costs associated with constructing, operating and maintaining quality pool facilities for all Canberrans to enjoy.
The new fees guidelines bring ACT Government pool fees pack into line with operating costs, with entry fees at private pools around Canberra, and with other pools around the country.
Since 2010, the management and operational costs for ACT Government pools has nearly tripled, while some fees, like standard casual entry, have not changed since 2011.
As a result of the new fee methodology, some fees will increase in stages over the next four years. The majority of increases will be at or below the current Wage Price Index.
Under this new structure, pensioners will get a better discount than before, children under three and people with a disability will still be able to access all ACT Government pools for free, and discount lane and pool hire will still be available to community not-for-profit sport and recreation groups, in recognition of the social, health and physical activity benefits they provide to the community.
The new fee structure applies to the ACT’s six public pools: Lakeside Leisure Centre in Tuggeranong, Gungahlin Leisure Centre, Canberra Olympic Pool in the city, Dickson Pool, Manuka Pool and Active Leisure Centre in Erindale.
More information including a full list of agreed fees out to 2020-21, and the formulas that will be used to set fees from 1 July 2021, is located on the ACT Government Legislation Register via Public Pools (Pool Fees) Guidelines 2017 (No 2).
The new guidelines will not apply to swimming lesson fees, which will continue to be set by the private providers of these lessons, and the changes do not apply to privately-owned public pools in the ACT.
If you are experiencing problems accessing the information presented in the Pool Fees Guidelines please contact Access Canberra by phone on 13 22 81 or via the online chat service.
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.