Phillip Ice Skating Centre

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Phillip Ice Skating Centre
Brave Cave
Phillip swimming and ice skating centre logo.png
Phillip Ice Skating Centre Ice Rink.png
Location1 Irving Street, Phillip, ACT, 2606
Coordinates35°20′22″S 149°05′01″E / 35.33950°S 149.08366°E / -35.33950; 149.08366
Capacity1000 (seating + standing)
Surface55 metres × 25 metres
OpenedOctober 1980 (41 years ago) (October 1980)
Official opening held in May 1981
CBR Brave (2014–present)
Canberra Pirates (2016-present)
Canberra Knights (1981–2014)

The Phillip Ice Skating Centre (also known as Phillip Swimming & Ice Skating Centre and the Brave Cave) is an ice sports and public skate centre, opened in 1980 and located in the Woden Valley suburb of Phillip, Canberra, ACT, Australia. It is the current home of the CBR Brave AIHL ice hockey team and the Canberra Pirates national women's tier two ice hockey team. It was the previous home of the Canberra Knights AIHL ice hockey team between 1981-2014. Phillip Ice Skating Centre is the only ice rink in the ACT.


Phillip Ice Skating Centre opened to the public in October 1980, with the officially opening ceremony held in May 1981.[1]

On 4 October 2012, the private owner of the centre revealed they were open to working with developers to reconfiguring the site so that the outdoor pools went inside, a new ice rink would be built and a boutique hotel constructed on the block.[2]

On 16 August 2014, ACT Sports Minister, Shane Rattenbury, formally rejected a proposal to build a brand new ice rink attached to the new swimming complex planned for the Molonglo Valley in Canberra's south. Mr Rattenbury's reasons for his decision came from a feasibility study into the proposal ruling out the investment into a second ice rink for a city due to the population size of Canberra at this time. Instead the minister proposed further review of what can be done to upgrade the current privately owned Phillip Ice Centre facility. Brave co-director, Warren Apps, responded to the news on the ACT Grandstand radio program on 666 ABC Canberra by further expressing the need for new investment due to the demand on the current facility now exceeding its capacity. With the CBR Brave struggling to secure enough training time on the ice at Phillip due to all the other sporting and recreational commitments on the facility.[3]

On 17 January 2016, the ACT Government released a detailed report into ACT Indoor Sports facilities that again raised the issue of ice sports and the Phillip Ice Skating Centre. The report highlighted the issues of having an old private facility at the end of its lifespan servicing a growing ice sports community and national sports franchise in the national capital. The report suggested a full business case and plan be drawn up at exploring alternative options for building a new multi-purpose facility in the fastest growing areas of Canberra, the Molonglo Valley and Gungahlin, where the lower land values can boost a feasibility case for construction compared to re-building in Phillip.[4] Shane Rattenbury responded to the release of the report by saying a new ice sports facility with duel rinks for competition and practice was in the Government's longer-term plans but stressed the need for community engagement and private sector support. CBR Brave part-owner, Peter Chamberlain, concurred with the recommendations of the report in relation to ice sports.[5]

On 26 August 2016, ACT Labor made the announcement as part of their 2016 election campaign that they would pledge to build a new ice sports centre in the south of Canberra as part of a $23.3m four-year plan to upgrade sporting facilities territory wide if re-elected. This policy announcement was made in response to the ACT Indoor Sports Facilities Report commissioned by the government earlier in the year. Initially $75,000 would be spent in conjunction with the Ice Sports Federation on a community consultation program to determine what the community feels is needed and where exactly the facility should be located.[6][7] Ice Hockey ACT (IHACT) welcomed the commitment announcement by the ACT Government to building a new ice sports facility with IHACT's president, Allan McLean, commenting "We are very excited at the thought of playing ice hockey in a new, larger facility with the potential to grow our sport,".[8]

On 19 February 2019, the ACT Government commissioned options paper for a new ice facility for Canberra was released by Lockbridge on behalf of the ACT Ice Sports Federation. The paper outlined three options for a new facility in Canberra. The three options looked at in the report included a twin-sheet facility planned over two levels, a twin-sheet facility planned over one level and a single-rink facility planned over two levels. The projected price range between the three options spanned between $22.6 million to $35.4 million. All three options did not meet IHACT seating capacity requirements of 2000 seating and 500 standing as outlined in the IHACT function brief. The two-story options provided 1200 seating and 400 standing capacity with the single-story option providing a 600 seating and 200 standing capacity. All three options included space for the establishment of the Australian Ice Sports Hall of Fame.[9]

In response to the release of the options paper, the ACT Government announced it would establish a tender process, in the first quarter of 2019, to seek a private partner for the project. The ACT Sports Minister spokesman reiterated the Chief Minister’s promise to start construction by 2020 and advised the ACT Government had put money aside in the budget for the project.[10]


All facilities are located on a single level, barring a small mezzanine level with some seating and the bar serving alcoholic beverages, usually open during Canberra Brave home games only. Until June 2018, the rink was renowned nationally for its lack of hand dryers in the bathrooms. As of 22 June 2018, news broke rapidly of a fresh install of working hand dryers, breaking the long drought. A full list of facilities is as follows:[11][12]

Game-day experience at the Brave Cave, opening night of the 2015 AIHL season CBR Brave vs Sydney Bears, CBR Brave winning, 4–2
  • 55m × 25m ice rink (nets are used around the rink to stop ice pucks with no plexi-glass)
  • Seating and standing room for spectators (approx 1,000 people)
  • Skate hire
  • Kiosk with hot and cold food and drink
  • Bar (located on the mezzanine level)
  • Public toilets
  • Disabled toilets
  • Outdoor parking, including disabled parking
  • Kerb set down and pick-up area with ramp
  • First aid equipment on site


Phillip Ice Skating Centre is the home of the CBR Brave since an agreement was struck between the AIHL club and the centre's manager John Raut on the 1 March 2014. The centre plays host to at least 14 home Brave matches a season since the 2014 AIHL season between the months of April to August.[13]

The centre regularly hosts discos on Friday nights for all age groups and can be booked by schools for carnivals.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Brief History of ACTISA". ACT Ice Skating Association. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^ Doherty, Megan (4 October 2012). "Draft report reveals south Canberra swimming facility shortage". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  3. ^ Gavel, Tim (16 August 2014). "ACT Sport Minister rules out new ice rink for Canberra despite lobbying by CBR Brave team". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Full Report: ACT Indoor Sports Facilities Study" (PDF). ACT Government - Sport and Recreation Services. December 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  5. ^ Gaskin, Lee (17 January 2016). "ACT Government: CBR Brave build case for new ice rink after indoor sports facility study". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  6. ^ Brown, Andrew (2 October 2016). "ACT Election: New ice rink, sporting grants promised as part of $23m Labor plan". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  7. ^ Corrigan, Tom (26 August 2016). "Rags to Riches: Canberra Brave's miraculous turnaround earns them a new home". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Media Release - Ice Hockey Community No Longer Skating On Thin Ice". Ice Hockey ACT. 26 August 2016. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  9. ^ "ACT 058 - ACT Ice Sports Facility: Options Analysis Report" (PDF). ACT Government. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  10. ^ O'Mallon, Finbar (19 February 2019). "Government puts money aside for new Canberra ice rink". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Phillip Ice Skating Centre". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre". Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  13. ^ Gaskin, Lee (11 April 2014). "Timeline of CBR Brave entering the Australian Ice Hockey League". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Latest News". Phillip Ice Skating Centre. 28 March 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015.

External links[edit]