Cousins Blake Baden and Kayla Powell beat the heat at the Australia Day family fun day at Bundamba Swim Centre.
Cousins Blake Baden and Kayla Powell beat the heat at the Australia Day family fun day at Bundamba Swim Centre. Rob Williams

Gala Australia Day by pool

IT is hard to believe that a scene of destruction could be transformed so quickly into a fun-filled water playground.

Two weeks ago Bundamba Swim Centre was covered with metres of muddy floodwater.

A massive clean-up effort made it possible for the centre to host Ipswich’s major Australia Day celebration yesterday.

Two thousand people flocked through the gates to cool off in the sparkling clean pools. Pool lessee David Urquhart said it was the biggest Australia Day crowd he had seen in his four years’ tenancy.

“The purpose of it was to open the centre to people after the floods,” he said. “Everything went under. There was just an army of people that helped clean up.

“The pools are up and running.”

Not so the new gymnasium and equipment, which was flooded a week before it even opened.

“We thought this would escape from the flood, that the gym would be high enough,” Mr Urquhart said.

“It’s disheartening. We’re expecting to hear from the insurers the week after next.”

Winner in the best-dressed, dinki-di Aussie competition was Goodna entrant Tamarah Yarrow.

“They called me Australia’s mini version of the Statue of Liberty. It’s been a really great day,” she said.

Among the large crowd was Ainsley Smith, from Goodna.

“The pool’s really good now,” she said. “I like the kids’ area and the shade over the pool.”

Ipswich City Rotary Club scooped up $1500 for flood relief at its sausage sizzle.

Club president Gary Edwards said the donation was on top of $30,000 already given.

Flood appeal coffers were also being filled over at the Raceview Tavern where Australia Day entertainment kept patrons amused.



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