Mayor Liz Campbell

From the Mayor's desk
Week commencing 21 May 2018Mayor Liz Campbell

Community working together

Last week’s Council meeting saw a great example of how a community can achieve a good business outcome whilst upholding the best ideals of fairness and collaboration.

It was also an opportunity for Council to educate our community on how a tender process works under Local Government regulations; the constraints placed on Councillors and staff to ensure the highest probity standards are maintained; and the serious consideration staff and Councillors give to evaluating the applications to ensure we deliver quality services for the Macleay.

Council, on behalf of the community, has a responsibility to achieve the most efficient and cost-effective outcome during all tender processes. But the value of what people contribute to our community, and what their contribution means to others, often cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

Following the release of the Council meeting business papers that recommended the operators of the Kempsey swimming pool, Hudoswim & Fitness, manage all four Council pools, there appeared unfair and damaging comments on social media. I was saddened to see Tony and Heather Hudson, who run a fantastic aquatic centre that contributes so much to the well-being of our community, being treated with such disrespect.

I was pleased that during the Council meeting our General Manager called out this hurtful and shameful behaviour by a small section of the community for what it was, and how as a community we can and need to do better.

The current managers of the Crescent Head swimming pool put forward an articulate and heartfelt case as to why they should continue to be the managers of this valued community facility, a position strongly supported by the local community at the meeting and via a petition presented to Council.

After much discussion and deliberation, the unanimous decision was for Council to enter into negotiations with Hudoswim & Fitness and Crescent Head Aquatic Centre with a view to entering into a contract/s in relation to the Management Lease and Operations of Council’s public swimming pools. This was a win-win for Council, the community and both current operators.

This was our community at its best.

Crescent Head Aquatic Centre A mutually beneficial outcome was reached between Council, Crescent Head Aquatic Centre and Hudoswim & Fitness at the May meeting of Council last week