Posted by & filed under City News.

Council has called for tenders for the management of the City’s last internally run Aquatic centre in Victoria Park Pools.

In a move last month Council determined to outsource the management of all of its Aquatic Centres including the pools at Victoria Park.

The tenders will be called next year under regular Council processes.

A spokesperson for the City said Council has been closely consulting with pool staff at Victoria Park about the proposed changes.

“There are currently two permanent employees and one casual employee at Victoria Park who will be affected by the change,” he said.

“Any new operator will be asked to consider providing continued employment for staff or they can choose to be redeployed within City of Sydney, or take voluntary redundancy.”

There are currently five aquatic centres within the City of Sydney with four currently being managed externally.

The spokesperson said the City believes outsourcing Victoria Park will lead to increased patronage, better financial return for ratepayers, improved programming, better economies of scale in management and consistency in programs and service delivery.

But Greens councillor Chris Harris said he believes the move will lose skills from the City’s workforce.

“What you are going to see in a few years is that Council won’t have any idea how to run a pool anymore,” he said.

“That expertise will be lost.”

Cr Harris said the move was indicative of an erosion of small jobs from the City’s workforce.

“One of the advantages of Council is they do lots of basic services people take for granted,” he said.

“Council is in a position where they can provide these small jobs to people and can give people training and the position to move up if they later want to.

“I have met people who started in basic jobs and as they matured they moved into middle-management or another career path.

“We are losing the ability to give that to people when we tender our positions.”

The fees and charges at City of Sydney aquatic centres are set by Council each year and not by the recipient of the management contract.

None of the staff or management at Victoria Parks Pools wished to comment on the tender when approached.

By Simon Black