South West Sydney community fights to save Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink

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Merriman, who coaches at the rink, said Canterbury’s learn-to-skate program had expanded significantly since COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted in New South Wales last year, and demand for Ice time was so high that some of Canterbury’s hockey teams were already playing at home. matches at Penrith Ice Rink before it closed.

“All the Penrith skaters had flooded Macquarie and the other rinks before, and now most of us have flooded Macquarie and Alexandria,” Merriman said.

The rink is now seeking $17.7million under a state government grant scheme called WestInvest, which is a $5billion scheme to transform infrastructure projects in Sydney’s western .

Canterbury MP Sophie Cotsis said she would call on all levels of government to come together and save an integral part of Sydney’s south-west community.

“We really need all three levels of government to step up and work on an action plan to save the rink and get it back to business as quickly as possible,” Cotsis said.

“We need to make sure our elite athletes have access to training. That’s why Canterbury is so important, but also locally in NSW you have young people, people with disabilities and schools using the rink.

Cotsis and O’Brien say the future of the rink will hinge on the approval of the WestInvest grant and the board’s decision to give the rink a long-term lease on the land rather than a monthly lease.

Canterbury Bankstown Council has left the door open to a possible long-term lease for the rink, with a spokesperson saying the council has helped the rink operators with their West Invest application.

‘Council confirmed that under the Local Government Act the lease term can be up to 21 years, or slightly longer in special circumstances’, and said it ‘recognizes that the rink has been an institution in our community for over 51 years.”

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Australian Olympic Committee chief executive Matt Carroll said the AOC had already taken action when Canterbury closed.

“The AOC has written to the NSW Government in support of the Ice Skating Club of NSW Co-operative’s application [COIR] for a community project grant from WestInvest to undertake corrective repairs to the rink.


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