Tenders open for private operators of swimming pools
PUBLIC assets are going up for grabs as Gladstone Regional Council tries to reign in its finances.
Private operators have been invited to take over the management of the Gladstone Aquatic Centre and Mount Larcom pool.
It's a bid to reduce the amount of money the council spends on the pools, namely wages, which account for 60% of the total expenditure.
So far this year the Gladstone Aquatic Centre has earned $902,000 compared to operating costs of $1,392,134.
That means the centre has actually lost $490,134.
But the move has some community groups nervous.
In a letter to the council dated March 31, the president of Gladstone Gropers Masters Swimming Club, Rod Porteous, expressed his concern over service standards and pricing.
"It is Gladstone Gropers' expectation that the arrangements, as specified within our Service Level Agreement, would continue under any proposed change of management," Mr Porteous wrote. "We suggest council establish the maximum prices that the contractor can charge for pool entry."
The council confirmed it wouldn't be able to guarantee prices won't rise.
During Tuesday's meeting Cr PJ Sobhanian made it clear he was not in favour of "leasing public assets".
He suggested having the wages, paid at $34-$39 an hour, renegotiated and questioned whether all other avenues had been explored.
But he was told this was the only option left.
133,905 entries into the Gladstone Aquatic Centre last year
88,578 from June 7, 2014 to January 31 this year
This year the Gladstone Aquatic Centre has earned $902,000
Operating costs this year have been put at $1,392,134