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Perth’s troubled Elizabeth Quay playground reopens for summer
The troubled Elizabeth Quay water playground in Perth, repeatedly closed because of persistent problems with contaminated water since its opening in January, has reopened for summer.
Built at a cost of $12.85 million, the splashpad first opened during the official launch of the Western Australian Goverment's landmark infrastructure project in January, only to close within weeks of the filtration system failing to clear bacteria from the water.
Western Australian Planning Minister Donna Faragher said the water playground's plumbing and filtration systems had been extensively upgraded and were now capable of maintaining water quality, even with large numbers of children using the park in very high temperatures.
She explained “with those improvements, as well as the tick from the Department of Health, as well as the ongoing monitoring that will be undertaken at the site, I'm quite sure that we will see thousands of Western Australians and visitors alike coming down and enjoying the water park.”
Western Australian Health Minister John Day said the new system had been subjected to intensive testing, adding "this does follow a high level of cooperation between the MRA (Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority) and the Department of Health and a very rigorous and thorough assessment and approval process which has been undertaken by the Department of Health.
"We can give as close to an absolute guarantee that there won't be any problems as any one can, subject to the fact that there's always a risk in going out into the wider world."
Minister Day said despite the problems, BHP Billiton remained committed to the facility that carries its name, adding "BHP would have been disappointed, that would be completely understandable, but I think they've understood the situation.
"They've appreciated the work that's been done and it's been a very cooperative arrangement with them."
The aquatic playground was supposed to be one of the early family attractions at Elizabeth Quay, but has been idle for most of the year.
In the days leading up January's official opening of Elizabeth Quay, the MRA struggled to eliminate bacteria from the water filtration system.
The Western Australian Barnett Government was criticised when it was revealed the WA Health had granted the necessary approvals less than two hours before the official opening of Elizabeth Quay.
It later emerged that the Department had not conducted tests required under its policy to confirm the water was safe, but had instead used exceptional powers to grant the approval.
In October, MRA Chief Executive Kieran Kinsella told the Western Australia Parliamentary Estimates committee that his agency “didn’t understand the science” behind the play area during planning.
The attraction has been closed since February while the filtration system was upgraded, tested and approved for public use by WA Health.
The park will operate six days a week, closing on Tuesday for maintenance and cleaning.
16th December 2016 - AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE FOR AQUATIC PLAY AREA ‘DIDN’T UNDERSTAND’ WATER SCIENCE
11th August 2016 - STILL NO REOPENING DATE FOR TROUBLED ELIZABETH QUAY AQUATIC PLAYGROUND
20th March 2016 - PERTH’S ELIZABETH QUAY WATER PLAYGROUND COST $12.85 MILLION
11th February 2016 - ELIZABETH QUAY SPLASHPAD DEBUGGED AND REOPENED
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