No podium finish despite aquatic centre’s huge $135 million price tag

No podium finish despite aquatic centre’s huge $135 million price tag

Posted on: 14 June 2023

The Malinauskas Labor Government has admitted the new Adelaide Aquatic Centre won’t be designed to meet international competition standards despite the cost to South Australian taxpayers blowing out to $135 million.

Tom Koutsantonis made the admission in Parliament yesterday under questioning from the Opposition.

“No, it will not be international competition standard, it’s a recreation centre,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

The former Liberal Government had committed $25 million to redevelop the aquatic centre with the rest of the funding to be provided by the Adelaide City Council and Federal Government.

While in Opposition Peter Malinauskas naively agreed for the State Government to take on the whole project and over the weekend he revealed the cost for the new Adelaide Aquatic Centre had blown out from an initial $80 million to $135 million.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Vincent Tarzia said he was shocked by the $135 million price tag.

“The Liberal Party is supportive of a redeveloped aquatic centre but before the election this project was going to cost South Australian taxpayers $25 million,” Mr Tarzia said.

“In just over a year the project cost has blown out to an eye watering $135 million and the new pool won’t even meet international competition standards.

“This is a staggering amount of money for a community swimming pool and it seems South Australians are footing an expensive bill to fulfil the ultimate vanity project for Poolside Pete.

“Comparing the old scope of the project to the new scope it looks like we are paying an extra $55 million for a waterslide.”

Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey questioned the priorities of Peter Malinauskas.

“South Australians are struggling through a cost of living crisis with the typical family nearly $400 a week worse off than they were at the 2022 State Election,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“Peter Malinauskas has so far refused to provide this sort of family with meaningful cost of living relief and yet he’s happy to commit an additional $55 million for a waterslide.

“I think South Australians would rightfully prefer this $55 million be put towards helping them pay their electricity bills.”