Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Artist impression of the front entry to the Wulanda Convention and Recreation Centre

For over 30 years there have been community discussions about the need for an indoor aquatic centre and more recent discussions have incorporated other indoor sporting facilities into the conversation.

The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre is a multi-purpose facility designed to be a community space, with facilities and activities for all ages and abilities including children, families, youth, community groups, recreational and organised sports and those with special needs.

This development will provide substantial year round indoor facilities, addressing many community needs both now and for future generations to come.

The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre will increase the ability for Mount Gambier to host major sporting competitions, conferences, events and performances providing significant social and economic benefits.

Council has committed to work alongside our community to ensure that this development fulfils the needs and aspirations of all potential users.

Find out more about this exciting project by:

Do you want to keep up to date with the progress of this facility? Sign up to receive updates as construction begins and the project progresses.

We encourage community members to sign up for project updates or check back to this page regularly throughout the project development, participate in consultations and ask questions.

For over 30 years there have been community discussions about the need for an indoor aquatic centre and more recent discussions have incorporated other indoor sporting facilities into the conversation.

The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre is a multi-purpose facility designed to be a community space, with facilities and activities for all ages and abilities including children, families, youth, community groups, recreational and organised sports and those with special needs.

This development will provide substantial year round indoor facilities, addressing many community needs both now and for future generations to come.

The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre will increase the ability for Mount Gambier to host major sporting competitions, conferences, events and performances providing significant social and economic benefits.

Council has committed to work alongside our community to ensure that this development fulfils the needs and aspirations of all potential users.

Find out more about this exciting project by:

Do you want to keep up to date with the progress of this facility? Sign up to receive updates as construction begins and the project progresses.

We encourage community members to sign up for project updates or check back to this page regularly throughout the project development, participate in consultations and ask questions.

  • Community Reference Group Applications open

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    17 Feb 2021
    supporting image

    City of Mount Gambier is seeking applications from the community for the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre Stage 3 Community Reference Group (CRG).

    The CRG provides an opportunity for members of the community to have input into the future operational model for the major centre currently being built at Olympic Park on Margaret Street, Mount Gambier.

    "The committee is established by Council to provide considered advice to assist decision making on matters associated with the development of the centre," City of Mount Gambier Acting CEO Barbara Cernovskis said.

    “The new CRG committee follows the work of the former CRG which was established in May 2018 to provide advice to assist Council with the initial planning stages of the development. As we move forward with the build, the Terms of Reference for the CRG have been updated to better reflect the construction and operational/activation phases of the project.”

    The CRG seeks up to 21 individuals and representatives from the education sector, allied health sector, early childhood sector, retirement and aged care sector, first nations community, young persons (aged 12-25 years), disability sector, community services sector, sporting/recreation clubs, swimming, basketball, netball, music/performing arts/events industry and other community groups.

    The committee will meet once every two months.

    Apply today:

    Applications must be received by 5:00pm on Wednesday 10 March 2021.

  • Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre Update

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    12 Feb 2021
    supporting image

    Construction on site at the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre is moving quickly as head contractor BADGE Constructions makes progress on the development of the major two-story structure at Olympic Park on Margaret Street.

    City of Mount Gambier City Infrastructure General Manager Nick Serle said loadbearing block walls had been erected within the building internally, in readiness for slab brace walls and concrete columns to support the structure.

    “The installation of the foyer and emergency stair formwork is underway and footings excavation and concrete works have also begun in the sports courts area,” Mr Serle said.

    The refurbishment of the existing outdoor 50 metre pool has commenced, in addition to initial works for the internal 25 metre pool, learn to swim pool, program pool and splash pad area.

    “The stairs and handrails have been removed from the 50 metre pool and excavation, reinforcement and concrete works for the footings for the internal pools is underway.”

    Read full article

  • Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    16 Dec 2020

    The Community and Recreation Hub will now officially be known as Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre after Council endorsed the name for the facility being built at Olympic Park at its monthly meeting last night.

    Wulanda means ‘enjoy or cherish’ in Bunganditj language, representing the Boandik community as the traditional owners of the land.

    “The Bunganditj Language Reclamation committee feel that the choice, ‘Wulanda’ Recreation and Convention Centre is an excellent combination of Bunganditj and English,” Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee member Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr said.

    “In terms of reconciliation it is important to recognise the long association with country of First Nations People and to acknowledge their place in modern society. The inclusion of Bunganditj in the name contributes to the healing process for the First Nations People and acknowledges our place on country, here in Berrin.”

    Wulanda accounted for majority (44%) of the community vote during the consultation period from Friday 23 October 2020 to Friday 13 November 2020.

    “Council received 143 submissions regarding the name for the building, with Wulanda the clear favourite, followed by Mount Gambier CoRe at 35% and Berrin at 21%,” City of Mount Gambier Acting CEO Barbara Cernovskis said.

    Community preferences for the facility’s extended title were also presented to Council for consideration and endorsement.

    “The preferred extended title was for Community, Sport and Recreation Hub at 57%, Sport Recreation and Entertainment Centre at 22% and Convention and Recreation Centre receiving 21% of the preferences.”

    “After much deliberation Council decided that Recreation and Convention Centre was the best reflection of the social and economic benefits the facility will return to our community,” Ms Cernovskis said.

    Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre was chosen following a total of 162 name suggestions provided during two rounds of community consultation to find a name in 2019.

    "Community input into the naming process has been invaluable and Council thanks residents for their interest and contributions to find a name for what will be the largest facility of its type in our region."

    “The Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre will feature state of the art aquatic fitness, sports, cultural, youth, café and creche facilities and Council is excited to take another important step towards bringing this project to life for our community.”

    “Now that we have a name, Council will develop a brand that reflects the aspirations of the community for the facility to be a place that people want to visit, experience and return to,” Ms Cernovskis said.

  • What's in a name? - Have your say now

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    23 Oct 2020
    supporting image

    City of Mount Gambier has shortlisted three potential names for the Community and Recreation Hub: Wulanda, Berrin and Mount Gambier CoRe. Council is calling on community members to make their preferences known and recommend an extended title for the new facility.

    Council received 162 name suggestions following two rounds of community consultation to find a name in 2019.

    “Council appreciates all of the contributions provided by the community and Elected Members had a difficult decision to whittle down the list of potential names,” City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle said.

    “Several names that incorporated First Nations language from the Bunganditj dictionary were suggested, representing the Boandik language of the traditional owners of the land.”

    The Regional Sport and Recreation Centre Committee shortlisted three names that met the criteria for Council’s endorsement at its monthly meeting this week, including:

    • Wulanda - Bunganditj language which means ‘enjoy, cherish’.
    • Berrin - Bunganditj language which means ‘Mount Gambier’.
    • Mount Gambier CoRe - an acronym for community and recreation that references centre, hub, heart.

    The Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee reviewed all community submissions and provided its support for the use of the two suggested Bunganditj names.

    The following terms are also presented to the community to guide and inform Elected Members on community sentiment regarding an extended title for the new facility:

    • Convention and Recreation Centre.
    • Community, Sport and Recreation Hub.
    • Sport, Recreation and Entertainment Centre.

    "You may like the sound of Wulanda Convention and Recreation Centre, or perhaps Berrin Community, Sport and Recreation Hub. The community is now invited to tell us which combination of names they like best" Mr Meddle said.

    To indicate your preferred name for the Community and Recreation Hub, complete the Name the Facility form.

    “People without internet access are encouraged to visit the Library to lodge their online submission. One submission per registration is permitted,” Mr Meddle said.

    Community consultation opens on Friday 23 October 2020 and will close on Friday 13 November 2020 with submissions presented to Council for consideration and a final decision.

    “The name of the Community and Recreation Hub is important. It is the largest project that Council has ever undertaken and it needs a name and brand that reflects the aspirations of the community for the facility to be a place that people want to visit, experience and return to,” Mr Meddle said.

  • Community and Recreation Hub Project Management Team

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    22 Oct 2020
    supporting image

    Turner & Townsend Associate Nick Argyros is Council’s Project Manager for the Community and Recreation Hub project. Mr Argyros has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry and has worked for architectural, construction, project management and development firms in Adelaide.

    In recent years, Mr Argyros has project managed the City of Salisbury Council’s $35 million Community Hub project, as well as the City of Marion Council’s City Services $15 million Depot Redevelopment and performed the role of Superintendent for the Adelaide City Council’s $20 million Rundle Mall redevelopment.

    “Nick has a wealth of experience in managing projects of this scale and is Council’s advocate during the build and the contact point between the contractors, community and Council,” City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle said.

    "I look forward to working closely with the City of Mount Gambier, the greater community and DesignInc to deliver this iconic project" Project Manager Nick Argros said.

    Mr Argyros will also liaise with the BADGE Constructions team including Senior Construction Manager Mark Wyatt and Site Manager Grenville Smith.

    “Council is fortunate to have DesignInc Site Architect Ben McPherson, who was born and raised in Mount Gambier, living locally during the week throughout the build,” Mr Meddle said.

    "Ben has 11 years experience and worked on the Osbourne Naval Shipbuilding Project, building the facilities for the Australian Governments $35billion Future Frigate Shipbuilding Program. He was also part of the HMAS Cerberus redevelopment in Victoria and the New Royal Adelaide Hospital."

    "Working on the Mount Gambier Hub in a leading role is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to such a significant project in my home town" Site Architect Ben McPherson said.

    City Infrastructure General Manager Nick Serle has been appointed as Council’s senior representative to report back to Council on progress associated with the project. City of Mount Gambier Procurement Officer Lisa Hinton was closely involved with the tender process and will be involved throughout the build to ensure that all contractual regulations are met.

    Council and the project management team will meet monthly to monitor the build progress.

    The Community and Recreation Hub project is supported by a $15 million grant from the Australian Government Regional Growth Fund and a $10 million grant from the South Australian Government Regional Growth Fund.

  • Community and Recreation Hub works begin

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    22 Oct 2020
    supporting image

    Civil works and demolition has begun on site at Olympic Park on Margaret Street to prepare for the development and construction of the City of Mount Gambier’s largest ever infrastructure project, the Community and Recreation Hub.

    Head contractor for the project BADGE Constructions took possession of the site on Monday 28 September 2020. Since then, the existing wood chip heater and solar panels have been recovered from the old Aquatic Centre for reuse.

    “BADGE is also crushing stonework and recycling any bitumen and other materials for reuse on site,” City of Mount Gambier City Infrastructure General Manager Nick Serle said.

    Fencing has been erected around the perimeter of the site as heavy machinery undertakes demolition work. To ensure public safety, the footpath behind the old Aquatic Centre from Margaret Street through to O’Halloran Terrace will be closed. A portion of the Olympic Park car park closest to Margaret Street will also be unavailable to the public for the duration of the project build.

    “To manage traffic during the build, the remaining portion of the Olympic Park car park will be one way only,” Mr Serle said.

    “Earthworks are underway and the old Baptist Church and Girl Guides buildings have been demolished. Trees and vegetation will be removed in the coming days and weeks."

    The installation of the sewer connection line is expected to occur before Christmas and will require excavation through the Olympic Park car park to the Community and Recreation Hub site compound.

    “As a result, there will be short term closures to the car park between now and Christmas, but plenty of notice will be provided before that happens.”

    The refurbishment of the existing outdoor 50 metre pool is expected to begin in November 2020.

    “The pool will be emptied, and the stairs and pipework will be removed and replaced. Exposed reinforcements will be coated with galvanised paint in preparation for the stainless steel pool insert to be installed later in the project,” Mr Serle said.

    Time lapse photography will record the evolution of the project as the build progresses.

    The Community and Recreation Hub project is supported by a $15 million grant from the Australian Government Regional Growth Fund and a $10 million grant from the South Australian Government Regional Growth Fund.

  • Community and Recreation Hub Site Preparation Event

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    24 Sep 2020

    The City of Mount Gambier will hand over the Olympic Park site on Margaret Street to head contractor for the Community and Recreation Hub project BADGE Constructions on Monday 28 September 2020. The Council held a celebratory event on site this afternoon in preparation for the milestone.

    The event included a special Welcome to Country led by Aunty Penny Bonney and Uncle Mikey Hartman and a Smoking Ceremony to acknowledge the coming together of culture and people to promote the protection and wellbeing of all in its development, performed by Uncle Doug Nicholls.

    “Today is an exciting day for our city. Following the completion of the tender process and the execution of the building contract for the Community and Recreation Hub project, work will soon begin on the largest infrastructure project the Council has ever undertaken,” said City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM.

    The year-round multipurpose facility is designed for people of all ages and abilities including children, families, youth, community groups, recreational and organised sports and those with special needs.

    “The Community and Recreation Hub is a truly transformational project for our city. The facility will increase the city’s ability to host major state and national sporting competitions, conferences, events and performances to provide significant social and economic benefits to Mount Gambier for decades to come.”

    Mayor Martin said there is no better time to start the build as our community begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Our State and Federal Governments are encouraging local Councils to do their bit to stimulate the economy with major infrastructure projects. BADGE constructions will invest $22.9 million locally through trades and suppliers during the construction period alone, providing a significant boost to the local economy in these challenging times."

    “The Community and Recreation Hub will be a game changer for Mount Gambier, a community space for everyone. We deserve a facility of this calibre and the Council is excited to get started on the build,” said Mayor Martin.

    The new facility is expected to be completed in Autumn 2022.

  • Recreation Hub Community Q&A Sessions

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    18 Sep 2020
    supporting image

    City of Mount Gambier will host a series of community Q&A sessions regarding the Community and Recreation Hub project following the completion of the tender process and the execution of the building contract.

    City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle said there are several mistruths about the project circulating throughout the community and encouraged people to get the facts.

    “There is a difference between fact and opinion. We want to dispel the myths about the project and answer your questions,” Mr Meddle said.

    “The tender process took a year to complete and during that time Council had a responsibility to ensure that the matter remained in confidence to protect the interests of the community by maintaining the integrity and competitive nature of the tender process. Now that the contract has been signed, we can provide significant detail on this game changing project.”

    City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin, Elected Members and the CEO will be present at the sessions to discuss the project.

    "This is your opportunity to ask questions and learn more about what the Community and Recreation Hub will offer" said Mayor Mayor Martin.

    “Since the signing of the contract on Monday 24 August 2020 Council has been considering how it can best communicate with our community about the project. This has been challenging due to COVID-19 restrictions and it has been decided the sessions will run by demand and by registration only for contact tracing purposes in line with SA Health guidelines.”

    Interested community members will need to phone 8721 2526 to book a seat at a session, the first of which will be held on Tuesday 22 September 2020.

  • Head contractor appointed for the Community and Recreation Hub

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    27 Aug 2020
    supporting image

    The Mount Gambier Community and Recreation Hub will progress to construction in coming weeks following the completion of the tender process and execution of the building contract, with BADGE Constructions awarded the head contractor tender.

    City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM said the signing of the contract is an important and exciting milestone towards the transformational project.

    “With facilities that will cater for the entire community and provide a significant contribution to the economy, we are very pleased to have finalised the procurement process and look forward to construction commencing on site soon,” Mayor Martin said.

    “Mount Gambier deserves this, it is going to be a game changer for our city and after 30 years of our community asking for a facility of this type, now is the right time to invest in this project and finally get it started.”

    Following the competitive tender process, the contract value has been updated to $57.3 million of which $15 million will be funded by the Federal Government and $10 million from the State Government. A minimum of $22.9 million will be injected directly back into the local economy throughout the build.

    Acknowledging the increase of the project price since the original estimate, Mayor Martin said $39.1 million was based on the intermediate design in 2018.

    “The market response to the tender process has now determined the true build cost based on the detailed design.

    “We’ve listened to input from the community and included refinements that have improved the hub’s functionality, flexibility and that will reduce whole of life costs while staying true to the community’s needs and aspirations,” Mayor Martin said.

    “Industry-wide changes have occurred since the estimated cost was established, including changes to the building code and building fire safety regulations and of course COVID-19 has significantly increased the risk profile of the project. The updated figure also includes the necessary refurbishment of the 50 metre outdoor pool.

    “We have made decisions to invest heavily in sustainability measures such as a fully electric heating and cooling system, supplied by solar power that, while increasing the capital cost, will reduce the whole of life costs - for example, the solar capacity will enable the electricity to be cost neutral within seven years of the expected 50 year lifespan of the facility.”

    The additional cost will be funded by Council through borrowings at a low interest rate over a period of 20 years.

    “Council is in a very good financial position to withstand the additional cost and service the loan, particularly with access to very low interest rates, and we remain committed to not increasing rates beyond the 4.5% outlined in the Long Term Financial Plan.

    City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle said the build will provide a huge boost to the local economy with the head contractor committed to achieving a minimum local spend of $22.9 million.

    “The robust procurement process ensured that Council not only secured the best value for money for the community but that the contract includes a large portion of local content, and this will provide a significant injection into the local economy at a time when it is needed most,” Mr Meddle said.

    “COVID-19 has placed an even stronger focus on our health and wellbeing and has highlighted the value of investing in community infrastructure.

    “We have been fortunate to secure an unprecedented level of financial support from the State and Federal Government, an amount never seen before in our region, and it’s now our turn to support their calls to help re-boot the economy.

    “To prepare for a strong recovery from the current crisis, now is the time to invest in quality community infrastructure to strengthen our city as a regional centre and position ourselves to attract visitation and investment,” Mr Meddle said.

    Following several months of tender review and assessment and weeks of final negotiations, BADGE Constructions was selected as the preferred head contractor.

    “This is a unique build that requires a company with suitable experience with complex infrastructure. We congratulate BADGE on their successful bid and look forward to working with the team towards making our community’s aspirations a reality,” Mr Meddle said.

    As a South Australian owned national builder, BADGE have been building commercial construction projects in Mount Gambier for more than a decade including UniSA, Mount Gambier Prison and Resthaven.

    “It goes without saying that we are thrilled to be awarded this project,” BADGE Managing Director Jim Whiting said.

    “Delivering important regional infrastructure projects gives us real opportunity to contribute to the local economy during the course, and provide long-lasting community impact with a quality facility.”

    The contract allows for site handover to occur in coming weeks with the project anticipated to be completed in Autumn 2022.

    “We thank the community for their patience as we have taken the necessary time to conduct the tender process thoroughly and with the added complexity of a global pandemic,” Mr Meddle said.

    With the tender process now complete investigation is underway to identify an operating model for the facility.

    “Now that we have finalised the construction contract Council’s immediate focus will shift to securing a partnership for operating the facility that will best serve the needs of the community,” Mr Meddle said.

    “Council maintains its commitment to ensuring the facility will be accessible for all, and affordability for all users including clubs and/or associations will be a key consideration during this process.”

    Further information and updates on the project are available at on this page and interested persons can now subscribe to a newsletter via the site to receive regular updates as the project progresses.


  • Community and Recreation Hub Update - 2 July 2020

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    02 Jul 2020
    supporting image

    City of Mount Gambier held a confidential special Council meeting on Wednesday 1 July 2020 to consider selection of a head contractor for the Community and Recreation Hub.

    Negotiations with the selected tenderer will now continue to enable Council to conclude the procurement process and secure the best value for the community before a contract is entered into.

    "Council appreciates that the community is eager to receive an update on the Community and Recreation Hub and the tender evealuation team have been working hard over many months to ensure the procurement process is not compromised" said City of Maount Gambier CEO, Andrew Meddle.

    “Following the conclusion of the tender process and once a contract has been entered into, Council will be in a position to provide the community with a thorough update regarding the project timeframes and cost.”

    “We thank the community for their patience as we have taken the necessary time to negotiate the tender process,” Mr Meddle said.

    The tender process has experienced inevitable delays caused by the scale and complexity of the project and further hindered by COVID-19.