Victorian company to run $22m aquatic centre
THE Gympie Aquatic and Recreation Centre has reached a significant milestone after Gympie Regional Council awarded Belgravia Leisure the tender for the premises for the next five years, as well as the region's other three public pools.
The company, based in Victoria, will manage the new centre in Gympie when it opens early next year, and take up management of regional pools in Tin Can Bay, Goomeri and Kandanga when they reopen in September.
Mayor Mick Curran said he could not reveal the final figure the council would pay Belgravia Leisure to run the centres, but said that sum was below budget.
"It's a price that we're very willing to pay," he said.
He said no local companies applied for the tender.
Cr Curran said Belgravia Leisure had extensive experience, already running 67 aquatic centres across Australia and eight in New Zealand.
"There's a criteria: performance, referees, price, and the benefit to council, with what they can do," he said.
"They came up trumps, so it was the decision of council to actually appoint them to manage not only this facility, but the other pool facilities across the region."
Councillors voted unanimously to follow the council staff's recommendation to select Belgravia Leisure.
The council announced in a media release it would set standard maximum entrance fees and minimum opening times on an annual basis following a recommendation from the operator.
Belgravia Leisure will receive income to manage the facility from entrance fees, classes and other programs, proceeds from the management and operations of the cafe, merchandise sales and subsidy provided by council.
The company will pay expenses in operating and maintaining the facilities including staffing, electricity, marketing, maintenance, operations and security, while the council will bear the costs of sewerage and depreciation.
Progress on the aquatic centre is on schedule and to budget after it stalled for three weeks when workers found contaminated material, including asbestos, on the former council depot site.