Our pool and fit­ness cen­tre could be left floun­der­ing if new op­er­a­tors don’t dive in soon

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE -

GROW­ING un­cer­tainty has res­i­dents fear­ful about the fu­ture of the Stan­thorpe pool and fit­ness cen­tre. Ear­lier this year South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil an­nounced it would un­der­take a ten­der process to seek new op­er­a­tors for both fa­cil­i­ties.

What does the fu­ture hold for Stan­thorpe’s recre­ational hub with no tak­ers so far?

Ideally, to merge and op­er­ate as one into the fu­ture.

That process has be­gun, but SDRC have found it’s not quite the “smooth tran­si­tion” coun­cil spruiked a cou­ple months ago.

In the ten­der doc­u­ment com­piled by SDRC it stip­u­lates “in­ter­ested par­ties are re­quired to at­tend a site brief­ing at the fit­ness cen­tre at 10am on 1 Novem­ber 2017”.

The com­pul­sory site visit went ahead, but with only coun­cil staff in at­ten­dance and no “in­ter­ested par­ties”.

South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil’s Man­ager Com­mu­nity Ser­vices and Ma­jor Pro­jects Michael Bell has played down the non-at­ten­dance.

“There are de­fined steps in the ten­der process that in­ter­ested par­ties can elect to ac­tion or not.

“Each of these ac­tions will con­trib­ute to the qual­ity and thor­ough­ness of their re­sponse to the ten­der, mean­ing that some bids will be con­form­ing and oth­ers non-con­form­ing.

“It is of the ut­most im­por­tance that coun­cil does not pro­vide a com­men­tary on the ten­der process. This will in­clude ques­tions from the me­dia and any sub­se­quent me­dia that is pro­duced dur­ing the ten­der pe­riod.

“The in­de­pen­dence of the pro­cure­ment process is of significance for the lo­cal gov­ern­ment sec­tor and it is im­por­tant that this process is not com­pro­mised by on-go­ing com­men­tary that will cre­ate angst in the com­mu­nity and po­ten­tially in­flu­ence de­ci­sion mak­ing process,” Mr Bell said.

The fi­nal date for ten­der sub­mis­sions is next Thurs­day.

“Should coun­cil re­ceive an un­sat­is­fac­tory re­sponse to the ten­der, the ten­der will be put to the mar­ket again,” he said.


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