Australia Day party to go ahead
HIS son may have lost everything from his Basin Pocket home, but that won’t stop Bundamba Swim Centre lessee David Urquhart on his mission to bring Australia Day cheer to Ipswich.
The huge family fun day is held every year on January 26 at the centre, but floodwater more than five metres high tore through the site last Wednesday.
Mr Urquhart is confident the pool will reopen in time for Australia Day celebrations.
“I’m 80 per cent sure we’ll be up and running by next week,” Mr Urquhart said.
The recently refurbished centre includes a $200,000 gym, due to open this week, which was completely destroyed.
Mr Urquhart said the pool would be filled within the week but amenities, including the bathrooms, may not be ready.
“We had a group of 30 men from the Burleigh Bears footy team here cleaning up over the weekend,” he said. “We have been going non-stop for three days.
“I also had 15 ex-swimmers and students of mine turn up to help.
“The support has been tremendous.”
This is the second time the pool has been flooded since Mr Urquhart leased the centre four years ago. “This is a double blow for us as we have been closed for renovations since before Christmas,” he said.
“We were focused on opening this week as we missed the summer season.
“But we don’t have it as bad as some. “My son Chris’ house in Basin Pocket went under. But we’ll get through it.”
Parks, Sports and Recreation Committee chairman David Morrison said the annual event was essential for Ipswich.
“A couple of people in the community told me all Australia Day celebrations should be cancelled and the money donated to the flood relief,” Cr Morrison said.
“That is not a council decision.
“But I think we should start celebrating a few things soon in the face of this mind-boggling disaster.”