Moyne Shire's decision to spend up to $20,000 of council funds on a consultant for Port Fairy's Belfast Aquatics has paid dividends with the centre securing another month's extension to its insurance policy.
The fate of the embattled facility was addressed at the monthly Moyne Shire Council meeting, where acting director of community and corporate services Peter Brown painted a rosier picture of the pool's prospects.
"I can't predict what the insurance company's view will be, but certainly we've put all our effort into assisting Belfast Aquatics to obtain a satisfactory outcome," he said. "I'm quietly positive that we will get a good outcome."
Council hired aquatic industry consultant Graeme Stephenson to work directly with Belfast Aquatics to get their governance policies in order. Mr Stephenson has rewritten many of the centre's policies, including the crucial occupational health and safety manual.
Mr Stephenson completed the first phase of work on March 30, but a council spokesman said the work was ongoing.
"The initial work on policies and procedures has been completed and a report handed to insurers. This work has resulted in the committee being granted another month of insurance coverage with the strong prospect of further extensions.
"Council expects the final consultancy fee will be between $10,000 and $20,000 - which council is funding in full. There has also been a significant amount of council officers' time devoted to this issue," the spokesman said.
Mr Brown said Mr Stephenson now planned to sit down with the Belfast Aquatics committee and work through the new manual "so it isn't just a document that sits there and no one uses".
He said Mr Stephenson had also flagged issues with the centre's business plan, but said that work would be undertaken if and when Belfast Aquatics found a new insurer.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.