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Gold Coast Aquatic Centre fails to reach predicted revenue levels
The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre (GCAC) failed to reach predicted revenues during its first year of operations leaving the Gold Coast City Council with a $2 million budget shortfall.
Refurbished at a cost of $41 million for aquatic events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the former Southport Pool, is losing close to $40,000 a week as it uses more water, needs more staff and costs more to secure than was anticipated.
GCAC also has to meet a monthly $5000 energy bill for power capacity that isn’t needed as a result of the Queensland Government having insisted on an electrical system to handle demand the centre will most likely only ever see once in its lifetime - during the 2018 Games.
According to a report in the Gold Coast Bulletin, Gold Coast City Council budget documents show the complex failed to “generate revenue as predicted”, with the council blaming the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and delays in getting gym equipment, as well as higher-than-expected costs, for the situation.
Unplanned expenses include $300,000 for lifeguards and other extra staff, $100,000 extra for security and $92,000 for water.
Two open days cost around $140,000, while the Council also pays a monthly fee of around $5,000 to Energex because the Queensland Government ordered an oversized power transformer to cope with peak energy needs during the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which forced the Council to pick up the extra bill on top of its regular charges.
The Council is now in negotiations with Energex to place a limiting device on the transformer to remove the $60,000 cost from its books.
Gold Coast City Councillor Dawn Crichlow says the shortfall is a 'teething problem', telling the Gold Coast Bulletin "the centre has only just got started and its membership is getting bigger every day and I think you will see that it is like the light rail or good wine - it will improve as it ages
“It is just a matter of time and if you give it another 12 months, I think people will see things will have turned around.”
The high cost of lifeguards and other staff was blamed on safety requirements to cover all pools as well as the need to service clients and take membership.
Usage of GCAC, located on the Broadwater Parklands, has seen more than 94,765 paying visitors use the facility, with a further 10,000 non-paying guests as part of tours, competition and open days.
More than 500 people are members of the gym, with numbers expected to increase by 70 a month, with the council hoping to have 1,000 people on the books by December.
Click here to visit the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre website.
7th January 2015 - OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST JOINS GOLD COAST CITY COUNCIL AQUATIC MANAGEMENT TEAM
15th August 2014 - WORK TO START ON KEY GOLD COAST COMMONWEALTH GAMES FACILITIES
8th July 2014 - GOLD COAST AQUATIC CENTRE GETS OFFICIAL OPENING
30th June 2014 - COUNCIL TO MANAGE GOLD COAST AQUATIC CENTRE
22nd January 2013 - GOLD COAST 2018 DETAILS COMMONWEALTH GAMES VENUE PLANS
14th November 2012 - GOLD COAST AQUATIC CENTRE GETS GREEN LIGHT FOR PAN PACS
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