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Adelaide Aquatic Centre 'drowning' council in debt, could close next month, councillor warns

Photo: Adelaide Aquatic Centre needs urgent upgrades, Cr Anne Moran says. (ABC News: Spence Denny)

The Adelaide Aquatic Centre may need to close as soon as next month because it operates at a loss and is a poor use of rates, according to one Adelaide City councillor.

Councillor Anne Moran told ABC Radio Adelaide the facility lost as much as $700,000 each year and the council could not afford the urgent upgrades the centre requires.

She said the State Government abandoned the North Adelaide facility when it built the state aquatic centre at Marion.

"We've been left holding the enormous debt-making business when only just under 7 per cent of our ratepayers have used it at least once in a year," she said.

"It's a big facility, an old facility that for whatever reason our ratepayers aren't using but they're still paying 100 per cent of the bill.

"We've done absolutely everything we can to have it break even and we'd be happy with that."

The council previously tried to gift the centre to the State Government but Cr Moran said that offer was "laughed off".

The centre is used by many swimming groups, particularly those in the northern suburbs for which Marion would be too far to travel.

Cr Moran said there had also been a suggestion that the Adelaide Football Club could partner with the council to use the facility but that idea had not gone anywhere.

She said only the State Government or private investment could save it.

"As I said, the person paying for it is not the person using it and seeing as it is such an important facility to the state, the State Government should take it over," she said.

"It's a tiny amount for them but it's a huge amount for us.

"It's losing often as much as $700,000 a year. We haven't got the money to do it up, we're just fixing things as they come up.

"That's money that's not spent on the city, that's money that doesn't do up roads and beautify the city.

"So we can't continue bleeding and drowning in this debt much longer so we might have to put a gun to the Government's head so to speak and say look we're not doing this anymore, close the door in April." Cr Moran said she would push for the council to again make contact with the Government about the centre in coming weeks.


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