Council Attempt to Explain Pool Lease Decision

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Council Attempt to Explain Pool Lease Decision

The Coffs Harbour City Council have attempted to explain the tender process of the three local swimming pools after public disappointment in the decision to award the contract to a Hunter Valley company.

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, the council's Acting General Manager Mick Raby explained that the new lease was a saving of more than $4 million for ratepayers.

Lane 4 Aquatics will run the three Coffs Harbour swimming pools in the new deal.

In a move that has angered locals and councillors that there was no involvement, the Coffs Harbour City Council revealed that the deal was awarded by General Manager Steve McGrath.

"The tender was awarded by Council’s General Manager under delegated authority, a process that does not require it to go to a Council Meeting for decision", the statement read.

While council can't legally disclose detail of the tender, Mr Raby said they can "assure the community that very careful consideration was given to all the tenders.

“We completely understand that the current operators of the pools – the Hunt Family, Kerri Ann McLaughlin, Mark McLaughlin and Daniel Leaver – are very disappointed that they were not successful and we can understand their distress. However, in considering tenders, we have to be independent, objective and impartial so that the process is fair to all parties – and especially to the ratepayers of the Coffs Harbour local government area".

Daniel Leaver from Swimplex spoke with Moffee on Triple M on Friday morning, concerned with how the process was handled.

The Coffs Harbour War Memorial Pool alone provides approximately 30 jobs, all now under a possible cloud with Council saying that they have been assured by Lane 4 Aquatics that "all current pool employees will have the opportunity to apply for positions within the new operations".

Listen to the full chat with Daniel Leaver on Triple M with Moffee: