Lee Fitzgerald sitting amongst the dismantled
Lee Fitzgerald sitting amongst the dismantled "flumes" of the waterslide at Ballina Olympic Swimming Pool. The slide is currently undergoing maintenance. Northern Star/Brenden Allen

Ballina waterslide closed for renovations

IT MIGHT look like one of Ballina's waterslides has slipped away, but Lee Fitzgerald has assured locals the missing parts will return to Ballina Olympic River Swimming Pool.

After 28 years of local children sliding through its tubes, it was time for the nine-metre high structure to get a bit of tender loving care, the pool manager said.

There are two slides at the pool, the nine-metre one under renovation, and a 17-metre high version for the more daring. Both are closed while the work is completed.

Sections have been dismantled and trucked to Brisbane for some rust removal, a paint job and re-galvanising.

It could be another six weeks before the slide is reassembled. Certainly by the September school holidays the slide will be shiny and rust free, ready for another 30-odd years of squealing kids (of all ages).

"The hot dip galvanisation will ensure the slide lasts longer," Mr Fitzgerald said.

"It will also reduce the amount of maintenance needed to keep it up to scratch."

Mr Fitzgerald and his wife Vickie have managed the pool for seven years. The best part about the job was seeing the excitement in kids' eyes as they rode the slide for the first time.

"We have a lot of regulars, too," Mr Fitzgerald said.

"They come here with groups of friends on weekends and in the holidays and have heaps of fun. It's good to know we can provide them with something that's healthy and exciting."

The water slides are a popular activity for visitors and locals alike, with theme nights regularly held at the pool.


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