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City council considers $2m Aquatic Centre renovation, $2m putt-putt for North Adelaide


A “world-class” mini golf course in North Adelaide and major renovations for the decaying Adelaide Aquatic Centre are among a series of potential projects before the city council, as it weighs its budget priorities this weekend.

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Draft working papers for the 2019-20 budget, obtained by InDaily, show that council staff have proposed a $2.25 million “world-class mini golf facility” on the site of the North Adelaide Golf Course and $2.4 million worth of renovations for the swimming centre.

The mini-golf facility would take over 1500 sqm of space currently occupied by the Par 3 beginners’ golf course – which is distinct from the professional-grade South Course.

The facility would reduce the Par 3 course from 18 holes to 12, or possibly nine, depending on the final design, which the documents specify “will not be of a Disney/theme park style” and will instead be “sympathetic to the surrounding vegetation, environment and cultural heritage”.

Currently, the only mini-golf operator in the city of Adelaide is Holey Moley – an upstairs bar on Pirie Street.

Also proposed in the working documents are multi-million dollar renovations to Adelaide Aquatic Centre.

The proposed redevelopment includes removing the dive tower and re-fashioning the 5-metre-deep dive pool into a 2-metre-deep, regular swimming pool, at an estimated cost of $800,000.

Broken tiles in the dive pool regularly cause customers minor injuries, according to the working document.

“Patrons regularly report cut feet and hands from broken tiles,” it reads.

Also among the proposed renovations is a new family change room ($500,000), a replacement for a 50-metre boom gate ($500,000), new panel lift doors ($400,000) and new cardio equipment ($200,000).

The current cardio equipment “is 10+ years old with regular breakages (and) new equipment would be in line with market standards,” the document says.

The Aquatic Centre has for months been mooted as a potential new headquarters for the Adelaide Crows.

SA Best MLC Frank Pangallo released a statement late last month, saying he believed the football club was interested in making the move and that the centre would be demolished if that occurred.

The Aquatic Centre has long been a loss leader in terms of costs for the city council.

At a budget meeting on Monday, councillors debated the merits of potential cuts, which are proposed in the same document.

They include abandoning the council’s share ($915,000) of funding for the Free City Connector bus, scaling down Christmas decorations for the CBD (saving $100,000) and removing CPI-based funding increases for heritage conservation, community, sporting and cultural grants (saving $44,000).

Councillors will also consider spending $210,000 a year, on an ongoing basis, to rent out two long-vacant buildings on Hutt Street to establish a “creative, cultural and recreational hub”.

The buildings are located adjacent the existing council library towards the southern end of the street and would be subleased to sporting and community organisations for regular use at “peppercorn”-priced rent.

A council spokesperson said proposals both for new spending and budget cuts contained in the document are costed according to preliminary estimates, which are subject to change.

Councillors will attend a budget workshop on Saturday to consider them.

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