Councils take the plunge

Albury and Wodonga councils have united to launch an exciting new era in the management of the cities’ public swimming pools.

The councils have joined forces to seek Expressions of Interest for experienced recreation and leisure management companies to operate the Albury and Lavington Swim Centres along with the Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre (WS&LC) and WAVES from 1 July 2018.

The councils believe joint management of all four centres will provide greater efficiencies and benefits to the community, such as improved membership options and discounts.

Wodonga Council Mayor Anna Speedie said the move was a testament to the councils’ strong working relationship.

“This agreement is just one example on how the two councils can come together to deliver a great benefit to our entire community,” Cr Speedie said.

“We know the border is not a barrier for our people to use and enjoy services across our cities and it’s important that we continue to look for ways to collaborate to ensure quality outcomes.”

AlburyCity Mayor Kevin Mack said the agreement would harness the joint power of both cities to deliver high-quality swimming and recreational facilities while keeping costs down for the community.

“This is a win-win for families, dedicated swimmers and anyone else who uses any of the fantastic swimming facilities we have on both sides of the border,” he said.

“And importantly, it’s a great example of how both cities can work together to benefit everyone in Albury-Wodonga.

“We’ve always been two cities but one community and this agreement really shows what we can achieve if we work together to improve services to our residents.”

The agreement follows extensive feasibility investigations and research into other models to show that joint management of public facilities not only works, but actually enhances the abilities of both cities to provide even better services to the more than 90,000 people who call Albury-Wodonga home.

The timing lines up, as AlburyCity’s current contract for the management of the Albury and Lavington Swim Centres and Wodonga Council’s contract for the WS&LS and WAVES finish at the same time, June 2018.