top of page
Screenshot 2023-06-13 180949.png
  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Council's $1.1m splashpool numbers don't add up and neither does its public consultation

Much to the surprise of many the vision of a splash pool as part of the highly successful Corrigans Reserve Variety Park appears to be canned by Council's determination to have such a facility in their proposed aquatic centre. The idea of the splash pool was adopted by the Councillors when they endorsed the Otium Concept Plan 1. How much did Otium indicate the splash pad and fixtures would cost? $1.1m !!!!!!

On 29 August 2017, Council held an Extraordinary Meeting to consider a draft business case and concept plans for two options for redevelopment of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park Precinct for a Regional Aquatic Centre and Arts and Cultural Facility. Council resolved to endorse option one that included a $1.1m splash pool. Five months before this momentous decision, at the Ordinary Council Meeting 28 March 2017, Charles Stuart of Bay Push (Variety Park) made a presentation to Councillors regarding the future of the Corrigans Reserve Inclusive Playground that included a splash pool Mr Stewart reminded the Councillors that in 2013 his organisation prepared a Community Business Plan that sought to provide an inclusive playground .

He said "The plan centred on an inclusive playground and tourist precinct at Corrigans Reserve comprising a number of stages designed to give families, a 'free of charge', leisure area and an attraction that would bring tourists to our shire from our neighbours in Canberra."

"The Community Business plan was tabled at a Council forum held in 10 March 2014, and whilst it was not formally approved by councillors, it was warmly accepted"

"Now I move to current times (March 2017). At the playground opening on the 4 March this year, I was handed a copy of a funding proposal by the Director of Infrastructure Services, a copy of which I have emailed councillors together with the Community Business Plan I mentioned before.

At that time, I was advised that this had NOT been referred to the General Manager, the Mayor or Councillors prior to submission.

The grant application includes funding for:

  1. Playground completion,

  2. Rebuilding the seaside carpark at Corrigans,

  3. Construction of an accessible path and viewing platform at Observation Point.

All very commendable, but lastly and devastatingly:

4. A concreted labyrinth of roadways to house the fortnightly Sunday markets adjacent to the playground.

And this is the hub of my address today.

This plan prevents any further stages of a play and tourist precinct at Corrigans reserve.

"When asking about the future of a Splash Park next to the playground, I was informed that council was going to build a large water park at the aquatic centre at Mackay Park comprising a tipping water bucket and slides. This is news to The Mackay Park Sunset Advisory Committee, who have made no firm decisions at this stage."

I am in support of quality markets, but in reality, it can be sited at a number of more suitable locations. The one that springs to mind is Mackay Park, Batemans Bay, a site that would attract passing traffic on the Princes Highway or at Corrigans Reserve in front of where the annual fair is held. However, this is not my role.

"What is the greatest concern to me and others, is that council staff are making decisions without community consultation. We have two sunset advisory committees, one for Corrigans Reserve and one for Mackay Park."

Neither of these committees have been approached with the details of the funding proposal and the plans contained there-in.

In conclusion, I request a meeting of the Corrigans Reserve Sunset Advisory Committee be held in the near future, to properly plan the future for development at Corrigans reserve in strict conformity with the community consultation outcomes.

Charles Stuart The Bay Push 28 March 2017

Above: an example of the style of splash park Mr Stuart was describing

Following Mr Stuart's presentation Mayor Innes thanked him for his continued commitment and dedication to those marginalised in the community. In regards to Mr Stuart's comment that "council staff are making decisions without community consultation" the Mayor assured him with "we don't have concerns of senior staff overreaching their position". The Mayor advised that Council did not develop a master plan of the area for the whole of the Corrigans site and the General Manager added that a master Plan will go ahead and involve the whole community. Let's look at that cost of $1.1m and ask how much a splash pool costs other councils. Below are the costings and projected income for a 200 square metre splash park to be constructed at the Bacchus Marsh Outdoor Pool.

From the Splash Park Feasibility Study - Moorabool Council 3.11 Costs and Components Probable capital costs An opinion of the average costs of providing splash parks are as follows: $225,000 - 50 sq metre pad only $300,000 - 100 sq metre pad incl. ground sprays only $500,000 - 200 sq metre pad incl. 30 plus features Excludes landscaping and concept design. Plant components • Plant Room shed • Sand Filters • Commercial pumps (filtrations and features) • Liquid chlorine and acid dosing system • Concrete in ground balance tank (approx. 18,000 litres) • Manifold and solenoid valves for feature control • Electrical switchboard and wiring • Pipework Nature of Materials Nature of material typically include: • Concrete apron – 350 mm thick • Stainless steel water features Operations The cost of operations are on average $7,000-$8,000 per month (incl. some staff cost). These costs include: • Water • Electricity (Circulation pump and features pumps) • Staffing (Backwashing, water testing, cleaning) • Staff Training • Cleaning (Pressure washing surface, surrounds) • Rubbish Removal 27 • Grounds maintenance • Water testing (Minimum daily, Best Practice 4 hourly) • Chemicals (Chlorine, Acid/CO2) • Repair and maintenance (Quarterly service of pumps and dosing equipment) • Insurance • Marketing • Security Additional Revenue Based on attendances at other district size splash parks, it is estimated that there could be up to 5,000 additional visitations to the Bacchus Marsh Outdoor Pool per season, if a splash park was installed. These visits would approximately generate an additional gate revenue of $12,900 per season if children were charged to use the facility. This revenue could be used to offset the additional staffing costs associated with commencing the pool season in November and opening the pool earlier on warmer days to allow maximum usage of the splash pad. The capital cost of splash parks vary depending on the size, number of features and the support facilities built with the splash park, such as toilets, shade and BBQ facilities. A district size splash park built in conjunction with existing facilities can be built for around $500,000. A review of the operations of splash parks has highlighted a range of differing operating costs. Splash parks located with existing aquatic facilities and maintained mainly by on-site aquatic staff can cost as little as $1,500 per month to manage. Assuming that items such as insurance, marketing, security, and rubbish removal are absorbed as part of the overall operations of the aquatic site. A stand-alone splash park could cost around $8,000 a month to maintain with external contractors completing tasks such as 4 hourly water testing, backwashing, cleaning and rubbish removal

Consider now the idea of inclusion of the Bay Push splash park proposed for Corrigans reserve as being part of the aquatic centre taking advantage of considerable cost savings in plant and overheads of staffing • Plant Room shed • Sand Filters • Commercial pumps (filtrations and features) • Liquid chlorine and acid dosing system • Concrete in ground balance tank (approx. 18,000 litres) • Manifold and solenoid valves for feature control • Electrical switchboard and wiring • Pipework The question now is how did Otium come to cost a splash pool of 150m sq at $1.1m ????

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

bottom of page