Belfast Aquatics makes deal with Moyne Shire Council

Chairperson for the volunteer management committee of Belfast Aquatics Anne McIlroy. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Chairperson for the volunteer management committee of Belfast Aquatics Anne McIlroy. Picture: Christine Ansorge

FREE entry into Belfast Aquatics in Port Fairy is a thing of the past with a new management agreement for the community-ran facility being rolled out.

For the past financial year, two free passes to Belfast Aquatics were distributed to each site booking at Southcombe Park and Gardens caravan parks in Port Fairy.

This decision came from Moyne Shire Council, who had previously set a levy on each caravan park booking, with $150,000 of this money then becoming council’s annual contribution to Belfast Aquatics.

The Belfast Aquatics committee informed council the free passes were having a drastic effect on its bottom line and was providing administrative difficulties to deliver.

The committee came up with an alternative plan, replacing the free passes with a discounted $20 weekly pass during the off-peak season and a peak season family Fridays special.

This family Fridays ticket reduces the price for families from $18 to $10 between the hours of 11am and 1pm on peak season Fridays. Both these packages are for site holders at Southcombe Park and Gardens caravan parks only.  

Moyne Shire councillors accepted this new structure at its June meeting last week. 

Chair of Belfast Aquatics committee Anne McIlroy said the move away from free passes was a sound business decision.

“The free passes certainly put a lot of pressure on us financially,” Mrs McIlroy said.

“We can’t afford to be giving away for free what we work so hard for.

“This has to be user-pay or it just won’t work.

“We are happy with the working relationship we have with council at the moment and we are in a good position and looking forward to building on what we have.”

Moyne Shire’s annual allocation of $150,000 to Belfast Aquatics will be spent on operations ($130,000) and capital works ($20,000).

The Belfast Aquatics committee has also begun paying back a $100,000 loan to council.

A plan is in place to pay the loan off over a five-year period, in annual $20,000 installments.