New management for Newstead pool

Bendigo Regional Young Men’s Christian Association Youth Services will manage Newstead Swimming Pool for the next three years following a council decision last week.
But the Newstead committee that has managed the local pool since 1964 will still have some input into the pool’s operations in a move aimed at ensuring the community retains its long-held sense of connection and ownership of the popular local facility.
At its ordinary September meeting last Tuesday night, Mount Alexander Shire Council unanimously voted in favour of awarding the $280,670 contract to BRYMCA.
And moving the motion in favour of this, Cr John Nieman added the amendment that in December council officers would meet with both the new successful tenderer and also Newstead and District Swimming Pool Incorporated to understand how well the operation was meeting the community’s needs.
Cr Nieman’s successful, amended motion also included an official acknowledgement of the work of the local pool committee in running the popular summer destination since 1964.
Back at its meeting in August the council had awarded the contract for operation and management of its other outdoor aquatic centres in Castlemaine, Harcourt and Maldon to BRYMCA.
But at that meeting the council deferred the decision on awarding the management contract for the Newstead pool to allow discussion with the preferred tenderer regarding a possible partnership with the Newstead pool committee, which had requested this occur.
At last week’s council meeting Sharon Fraser, representing the Newstead pool committee, suggested that the council should conduct a review around how communities might be engaged before tendering processes in such situations in future.
And speaking as a private local resident Ms Fraser also requested the council acknowledge the long-held role of the local group in managing the pool dating back to the 1960s.
Cr Dave Petrusma noted that while the Newstead pool committee had been highly successful in managing the pool in previous years, new rules and regulations meant it had become too onerous for the local group to continue.
“We recognise just how important this is for the community, as all our pools are, which is just as well because it does cost us a heck of a lot of money,” mayor Cr Bronwen Machin told the meeting.

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