27 September 2023

Sporting arena goes off-side

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Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) have announced that public activity on their Canberra campus has been suspended indefinitely.

According to recent news reports Sport Australia confirmed that the AIS Arena was closed for infrastructure works and not expected to reopen this year.

In a statement, Sport Australia said that to minimise the impact on customers it would cancel existing 2020 bookings and was not taking any new ones.

ACT Minister for Sport, Yvette Berry told ABC radio that the announcement came as a “complete surprise” to the ACT Government.

“The Federal Government knows that the facility the ACT has to deliver all kinds of different events and sports games,” she said.

“I just can’t say how disappointed I am.”

Ms Berry said the Territory would have to talk with the community in the ACT and sports organisations about alternative venues now that the national site was not available.

“It’s disappointing but inevitable to see this occurring after the Commonwealth government has let this important facility become so run down,” Ms Berry said.

“It’s rare that I haven’t taken the opportunity when meeting with the federal Minister for Sport to raise the state of the AIS Arena and the federal government’s plans for its future,” she said.

Commenting on the closure the Federal Minister for Sport, Senator Richard Colbeck said the COVID-19 disruption had provided an opportunity to undertake much-needed work at the venue.

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