Memorial Swim Centre tender awarded

Council has awarded a new contract for management of Memorial Swim Centre that will save ratepayers $73,000 a year.

The savings will come through a four-month winter maintenance shutdown period, rather than a one-month closure.

All other operating hours of the swim centre, which was recently State Heritage listed, will remain the same as they currently are.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the decision to opt for a four-month winter shutdown was based on savings for ratepayers and the fact the Mackay ARC and Pioneer Swim Centre were heated.

“Those heated pools will be available for swimmers to use when the Memorial pool is shut during winter to enable critical maintenance activities at the ageing facility to be undertaken,’’ he said.

“This year’s winter closure at Memorial was longer than normal due to refurbishment works in the change rooms and there were no concerns raised, with swimmers using the other heated facilities.”

An ordinary meeting today awarded a tender for management of Memorial Swim Centre to current operators Belgravia Health and Leisure Group Pty Ltd for $319,632 per annum for 20 months.

The contract, which begins October 1, includes the option of three one-year extensions at council’s discretion. That 20-month term takes the contract through to May 2022, providing the ability to assess usage patterns for two summer periods.

Mayor Williamson said the three one-year options could provide flexibility in the future around key usage patterns.

“We’ve made no changes to current operating hours, except for the four-month shutdown period, and we’d encourage swimmers to ensure they use this facility,’’ he said.

Four conforming tenders were considered for management of Memorial Swim Centre.

The impacts of COVID-19 on usage of pools and the recent State Heritage listing of the site meant higher-than-expected contract prices were submitted.

The tender sought options relating to standard hours, responsibility for repairs and closure of the venue for winter maintenance.

During the tender process, tender information requests were sought on various combinations of the options, as well as variations to opening days.

However, the recommendation, which was endorsed by council today, was to award the tender in line with current opening hours, except for the longer winter shutdown.

Those hours are:

  • Monday to Friday, 6am to 7pm (13 hours per day)
  • Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, 8am to 5pm (nine hours per day)
  • Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.

Under the contract, council is responsible for costs and completion of all repairs and maintenance, except for agreed general maintenance items.

Mayor Williamson said council felt this was the best option given the recent heritage listing of the swim centre site.