FRASER COAST COUNCIL SAYS NO CHANGE TO WETSIDE WATERPARK DESPITE $1M ANNUAL LOSS

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the need for a waterpark in the Bundaberg/Bargara area over recent years and I thought it appropriate to post the following news article relating to the annual operating cost for the one at Hervey Bay.

The capital cost of ‘WetSide’ was close to $13M with much of the funding being met by that region’s corporate water provider, Wide Bay Water.

This certainly isn’t meant to be a negative post however it’s important for ratepayers to understand the dollars involved in this type of facility. In very general terms, $500,000 of Council spending within the Bundaberg Region equates to approximately 1.0% increase in rates across all rateable properties.

In the meantime, Council is awaiting a final report on the scoping study being undertaken by consultants which will include a recommendation for the most appropriate site for any future Aquatic Facility together with draft conceptual designs and indicative costs.

Once again, I have to make it clear that Council has not resolved to proceed with the construction of such a facility and nor has funding been allocated. I envisage that the scoping study will provide the data required for Council to make such a determination.

Council says no changes to Wetside despite a $1 million loss

FRASER Coast Mayor Gerard O’Connell says there’s no plan to change the operations or ownership of WetSide Water Education Park despite it running at a $1 million annual loss.

The cost to operate WetSide was raised at the latest council meeting, when Fraser Coast Regional Council chief executive officer Lisa Desmond confirmed the funds generated from it failed to meet the costs to operate.

When asked about the likelihood of changes this week, Cr O’Connell said the park would continue to operate as it does, as part of Wide Bay Water Corporation.

He said the council raised the issue in chambers because the impairment was discussed with its auditors as part of the annual audit process.

“Council wanted to accurately and transparently account for the facility,” Cr O’Connell said.

He said it costs an estimated $1 million to operate the facility each year as the park is provided free of charge to the public and visitors to the region.

The council provides the funds through what’s known as a Community Service Obligation, which recognises the cost of providing non-commercial community services.

Wide Bay Water Corporation were given the opportunity to comment but declined.

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