Council denies pool privatisation

THE council has called for expressions of interest for managing both the Hervey Bay and the Maryborough Aquatic Centres, and a local swimmer isn't happy about it.

Angelo Oliaro is worried that the expressions of interest were the first step in council trying to privatise both centres.

"They have just spent $6.5million on the Maryborough centre and then they could be handing over the keys to a private organisation to make profits out of our rate payments," he said.

The council said yesterday calling for expressions of interest had nothing to do with privatisation.

Chief executive officer Lisa Desmond said: "By calling for expressions of interest, council is able to gauge the level of interest in the management rights for the Hervey Bay and Maryborough aquatic centres as well as see what ideas management companies might have for improving the facilities and attracting clients".

"It is good management for council to investigate whether it is managing the facilities for optimal use, to see the latest in aquatic centre management models being used and ideas for increasing patronage."

"Calling for expressions of interest does not mean that the aquatic centres will be leased. A report on the expressions of interest compared to continued council management will be presented to the next council and it will decide whether to continue to manage the facilities or engage an external management body."