With Erina Fair Ice Arena set to close this August for building works, specifically on its external cladding, Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, is calling on the State Government to “come clean” about what other buildings on the Coast could be at risk.
Lendlease announced that the rink would close on August 18 for up to a year, as it needs modifications to meet legislative standards updates since it was constructed in 2004.
The move leaves figure skating, ice hockey and learn to skate groups, plus many schools, with no choice but to travel out of the Central Coast to skate.
Lend Lease Managing Director, Funds Management, Scott Mosely, said the decision to close the building for essential and comprehensive modification work could not be avoided and apologised to users.
“We’re working with the Erina Ice Arena team to explore options around re-opening the rink post-completion of the works,” Mosely said.
Ice Arena management said they were “saddened” at the decision to close the building but recognised that it needed to be done in the best interests of the community.
“We thank everyone for their patience and understanding while the modifications take place,” they said in a statement.
“We’re continuing to talk with Lendlease about the potential to re-open once the works are complete.”
That isn’t quite good enough for keen Coast skaters, who have established a petition on change.org calling for assurances that the rink will reopen once work is complete.
The petition had attracted 7,309 signatures as at 1pm on August 7.
Meanwhile, Tesch is calling on Central Coast Council and the NSW Government to provide more information about what is happening locally to make our buildings safe.
“This is a live issue and one that the community deserves to know more about,” she said.
“Two years after the government established the Cladding Taskforce, still more buildings are coming forward with potentially at-risk cladding.
“While it is all well and good to have a taskforce, it doesn’t negate the need to keep the public informed about what’s going on to keep the community safe.”
Tesch questioned whether a more comprehensive investigation needs to be done.
“This is the first confirmation we’ve heard about a privately owned building with at-risk cladding, yet we don’t know if this was missed in the first round of investigation, or whether there are still other buildings with cladding that needs to be assessed,” she said.
“The State Government and Central Coast Council need to let the community know what is being done to make sure that all buildings, not just government owned ones, have been assessed for any risks.”
Media release, Jul 24
Jay Pleass, General Manager, External Affairs, Lendlease
Media release, Jul 25
Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch