The 50-metre pool at Gungahlin Leisure Centre will remain closed indefinitely because of problem tiles, prompting swimmers and the Canberra Liberals to call for answers from the ACT government.
Sports Minister Yvette Berry has admitted she is frustrated and disappointed by the pool's continued closure, conceding she doesn't know when the centrepiece of the $28.7 million facility will reopen.
Ms Berry said experts were still trying to figure out how best to repair the tiles, which began falling off the pool in June.
Four months after the leisure centre reopened to the public following its coronavirus-induced closure, the 50-metre pool is still out of action for lap swimmers in Canberra's northern suburbs.
On Wednesday, the Liberals' new member in the Gungahlin-based seat of Yerrabi, Leanne Castley, called on the ACT government to explain the reasons behind the pool's closure.
The Valley Ave centre is owned by the ACT government but managed by YMCA.
What is wrong with the pool, how much will it cost to fix and when will work start and finish? Will the Gungahlin pool ever reopen?Leanne Castley
Ms Castley spoke out after she was contacted by swimmer Mark Loney, who was particularly frustrated given there were no other 50-metre pools in the district.
"Gungahlin residents deserve to know what's going on," Ms Castley said on Wednesday morning.
"What is wrong with the pool, how much will it cost to fix and when will work start and finish? Will the Gungahlin pool ever reopen?"
Ms Castley said squad swimmers have been forced to train at Canberra Olympic Pool in Civic, while lap swimmers had been told to travel to Greenway's Lakeside Leisure Centre - some 30 kilometres away from the Gungahlin pool.
An update about the pool's status had been posted to the centre's website earlier this month, which said the closure was to address "ongoing pool tiling failures".
In a statement to The Canberra Times on Wednesday afternoon, Ms Berry said she was disappointed the 50-metre pool was still closed and shared the community's frustration about the situation.
Ms Berry said the government's asset management arm, ACT Property Group, had been working with experts to investigate the cause of the tiling problem since it emerged in June.
"ACT Property Group is working with experts to get the pool back online as soon as possible," Ms Berry said.
"Unfortunately, the time frame for reopening the 50-metre pool will not be known until the right approach to repairing the pool has been developed by experts.
"I have asked ACT Property Group to make sure that these repairs address the risk of future tiling issues to avoid a need to close the pool again."
The centre's 25-metre pool and onsite gym remain open.
Ms Berry said she had on Wednesday offered to provide a briefing to Ms Castley about the pool's repairs.
The opposition's sports spokesman, Mark Parton, had previously been made aware of the problem, she said.
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