Water-park Inspection & Meeting

More…I’m continuing to receive a number of inquiries regarding a regional waterpark so last Thursday I drove to Hervey Bay to inspect its fantastic ‘WetSide’ water-park on Pialba’s foreshore.

It was a good opportunity to speak with some of the parents and attendants to gauge their feedback and witness how the various features of the park operated and which were the most popular with different age groups.

Naturally, everyone was thrilled to have the park although one dad advised that his 5 year old daughter had been there that many times that she was becoming bored with the features and wanted to go to a swimming pool. I guess that the ultimate facility would be an complete Aquatic Centre which included features of a waterpark together with a couple of purpose-built swimming pools.

The former Bundaberg City Council had explored a similar type of facility and now that most of the post-amalgamation issues have been addressed, it may be pertinent to ressurect the issue to see what may or may not be acheivable (affordable) in the future?

Please don’t take this as a ‘definite’ because it’s not. The State Government’s axing of some of our water, sewerage and road infrastructure subsidies straight after the amalgamation has made it very difficult to prioritise the funding of social infrastructure (basically, the things we would like to have as opposed to the things we need to have).

Times are changing however and I think that the discussion over a waterpark needs to take place in close consultation with the community and with clear facts being addressed rather than the best-intentioned assumptions, and pipe-dreams.

The Hervey Bay facility was built primarily by Wide Bay Water in conjunction with the Council and came at a cost of almost $13M with a whole-of-life operational cost (including maintenance) of about $1.5M/year. When I visited last week there were three attendants supervising the kids and I was advised that they sometimes require a fourth. I assume that their wages are part of the $1.5M.

Apparently the capital and operational costs of the facility are similar to that of three olympic-sized swimming pools.

I’ve arranged a meeting next week with advocates of a Bundaberg/Bargara Waterpark Facebook Group with some 2,673 members together with portfolio spokesperson, Cr. Lynne Forgan to gain their thoughts on the subject so that we can pass them on to our colleagues and relevant officers.

I have also obtained a number of water-park designs in various price-ranges from an international manufacturing/installation company to get an idea of what’s available and the indicative costs involved. Again, I need to stress that I have obtained these off my own back to try and get some discussion underway and that they are not an indication that Council is considering such a project at this stage.

A few pickies below from Hervey Bay…….

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