Megan Pope

Splash over fee rise

COUNCIL has moved to ease concerns the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre is being privatised and its membership fees rising.

Earlier this year the Fraser Coast Regional Council called for expressions of interest from groups wanting to manage the facility.

That announcement was recently followed with signage being posted at the centre informing people they could no longer renew memberships for a year's duration.

But Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor Gerard O'Connell said despite the fact new management would be employed at the centre it would not be independently owned.

"We received some very good responses and are now developing tender documents for the management of the centre based on the models provided under the EOI," Cr O'Connell said.

"Council hopes to have the tender documents back to the groups that lodged an EOI by the end of September and make a decision on the future management model by the end of the year."

Cr O'Connell said the council would retain strong input into the daily management of the centre, it would set the fees and the tender documents would detail how its wishes would be achieved.

In the meantime, he wanted users of the pool to know council would be renewing half-yearly memberships but not yearly memberships.

"We are asking swimmers who want yearly memberships to wait until the management model has been finalised," he said.

"Swimmers who pay for a half-yearly membership are still eligible for discounts."

Cr O'Connell said he did not envisage any jobs would be lost if management changed. He said the indication from the groups lodging expressions of interest was that they would employ locals.