ACT News

Canberra water park Big Splash left without power during hot summer day

In a cruel twist of fate, Canberra's only water park was forced to turn away customers on a mid-30s summer day during school holidays.

Ron Watkins, manager of The Big Splash water park in Macquarie, said an unexpected power outage left him with no option but to disappoint about 400 customers before 11am on Tuesday.

Ron Watkins at The Big Splash water park in Macquarie was forced to send away up to 400 customers after an unexpected ...
Ron Watkins at The Big Splash water park in Macquarie was forced to send away up to 400 customers after an unexpected power outage. Photo: Melissa Adams

Temperatures are tipped to reach 34 degrees on Tuesday and Mr Watkins was expecting a strong trade with school holidays ongoing.

Staff at the park, which can cater for 2000 people seeking relief from the heat, are concerned they may lose thousands of dollars due to the power outage.

Happier times: Big Splash was expecting good trade on a hot day.
Happier times: Big Splash was expecting good trade on a hot day. Photo: Jay Cronan

Mr Watkins said he had to disappoint busloads of tourists from Sydney and Wagga Wagga and would inevitably lose money on food, drink, ticket sales and wages.

"I turned up at 8am to turn the power on this morning and then bang, it just went out," Mr Watkins said.

"The government told us they had sent us two letters warning about routine maintenance, although we are certain we never received them."

"It's a school holiday week with temperatures in the mid-30s, so if we received the letter we would have immediately complained. When I complained, I was told they could not guarantee supply."

An ActewAGl spokeswoman said two letters were sent to the company and the power was cut for three hours to clear trees that were too close to powerlines.

We give our customers four days written notice so they can prepare for the power outage," the spokeswoman said. "We understand it can be inconvenient being without power and our crews always work quickly to minimise any disruption to the power supply."

Mr Watkins said power was returned about 11am after making numerous complaints to the Chief Minister's office and talking to the media.

"We are the only independent water park in Canberra with no economic support from the government, all we get from them is problems," he said.

Weatherzone meteorologist Tristan Meyers said the mercury would reach 34 degrees on Wednesday with temperatures to remain in the mid-30s for the coming days.

"Wednesday could be a touch warmer and it is possible we will see showers and even an isolated storm around the Brindabellas late on Wednesday afternoon," he said.

"Thursday will remain warm and we will see wide spread showers and storms across NSW that may come across Canberra too."