Bluefit selected as preferred operator of Newcastle inland pools

Bluefit has been selected as the preferred tender for the management of Newcastle’s five inland pools.

The confirmation from Newcastle Council, follows an advertisement of the tender of it’s pools in the Daily Telegraph last week, calling for feedback on the proposal. 

That ad has been called out by members of the community, as it was published with no Newcastle Council branding, in a Sydney publication. Pool users have also claimed to have had no knowledge of a call for submissions. 

The plans are now on the Council’s website, which includes a makeover of Lambton Pool, with a $5 million contribution from Bluefit. The upgrades would see a new 25 metre indoor warm water pool, toddlers pool and changerooms, refurbishments of the amenities block and changerooms, a gym, accessibility upgrades and new kiosk. 

In a report prepared by CEO Jeremy Bath, he says awarding the tender to Bluefit for the lease and operation of the city’s five Swimming Centre’s will cost Council $1,411,292, which represents a saving of $39 million to ratepayers, when compared to an in-house operation.

The decision on the tender was deferred to Mr Bath after all of the Labor Councillors recused themselves from discussions, citing conflicts of interest. They accused Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery of bullying and intimidation over her public calls for council to reconsider any further privatisation. Something Ms Hornery refutes.

Mr Bath says in the report that “the decision to award the tender does not in itself permit the signing of a contract with Bluefit for the lease and operation of CN’s five inland pools. Rather it triggers the inviting of comment from any member of the public regarding the appropriateness of the proposed lease.”

Lambton, Stockton, Mayfield and Wallsend have been leased an operated by Bluefit for the past nine years, while Beresfield has been operated under a hybrid arrangement with Bluefit operating the kiosk and entry turnstile for six years. 

Submissions can be made in writing to The City of Newcastle, Inland Pools Lease, PO Box 489, Newcastle 2300. 

Previous ArticleNext Article