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Gym remains open at otherwise shuttered Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre

Gym remains open at otherwise shuttered Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre
August 12, 2021

Following the recent liquidation of Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre Ltd (MAAC), the public company operating the Moree artesian springs facility in Northern NSW, Australasian Leisure Management has been told that the liquidators WilliamsonBarwick are continuing to operate the fitness studio within the Centre.

Uncertainty around operations resulted from advice on the Centre's website which noted "Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre will be closed until further notice", while its Facebook page advised that its gym is open, posting times for classes.

Australasian Leisure Management has been advised by WilliamsonBarwick that the “Council confirms that the facilities at the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre are closed until further notice, save that this past week the gym has re-opened.”

The statement added “the pools have been closed to enable Council to engage contractors to undertake remedial works (and) at this stage there is not a planned reopening date but Council will keep the community informed as the works progress.”

Closure of the artesian waters and pool complex has been identified as leaving a gap in Moree Plains' tourism portfolio, with the complex having been key to the region's tourism industry for many years.

Following the announcement of MAAC’s liquidation, the Tourism Moree board and staff have said while they were saddened by the news, they were focused on working with, and supporting, all of the tourism and business operators during this time, and beyond, to ensure that we sustain and continue to grow the tourism industry.

Tourism Moree Chief Executive, Tammy Elbourne told the Moree Champion “since the announcement, our team has been fielding many enquiries about the MAAC and are endeavouring to seek information and details on the way forward at this point in time

"We, like many in our community, are awaiting advice and once we have a direction from the relevant organisations, we will be sure to assist and share this information with our stakeholders and our community.

"We are aware that the temporary closure will leave a large gap in our tourism portfolio."

Advising that Tourism Moree was committed to advocating and pursuing all avenues to ensure that the reopening of the facility, Elbourne added "it's of no surprise that the tourism Industry like many, is currently suffering at the hands of the pandemic. However, to date the Moree Plains has fared extremely well, with domestic tourism set to be the winners once the current restrictions of travel from a large population of our Australian community has eased.

"We must all remember that the Moree Plains has numerous ways for visitors and our community to enjoy a wonderful country experience through our incredibly dynamic and diverse array of tourism attractions and products.

“These range from our private artesian water accommodation facilities, the unique artesian water experiences in our smaller community towns such as Boomi and Mungindi, our educational and informative agricultural tours, our beautiful arts with our galleries, indigenous culture and arts, to the picturesque golfing facility, our boutique retail businesses and our beautiful cafes, pubs and restaurants. All enveloped by our vast natural landscape and colour rich skyscapes.”

Staff terminations
Representing a number of staff following their shock termination on Friday 30th July, the United Services Union has called their termination as a result of the closure as "disgusting".

United Services Union New England organiser, Mark Hughes, said it was very disappointed in the way the matter had been handled.

Hughes told the Northern Daily Leader "there had been no consultation and no indication that this was going to occur beforehand.

"We're extremely disappointed that council have come out and told the members, and everybody there ... with no notice that they were going to shut and they were all unemployed on the spot.

"We think that was extremely poorly handled and we think the elected councillors who made the decision ... should hang their heads in shame for the way they've treated the staff there and ultimately residents of the Moree area."

Hughes said the Union had approached the Council about potential redeployment options, adding "so far Council has made no effort in trying to assist to get our members redeployed in other areas of council to ensure they still have some income."

Related Articles

10th August 2021 - Aquatic industry delivers $9 billion in economic, health and social benefits to Australia

9th August 2021 - Y NSW calls on NSW Government to support the survival of community sport, aquatics and recreation sector

30th July 2021 - Council-owned company responsible for Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre operations goes into liquidation

29th July 2021 - Analysis of aquatic and fitness centres performance through June shows changing consumer behaviour

8th July 2021 - Talaroo Hot Springs attraction opens in Outback Queensland

6th July 2021 - Majority of employees at contract managed aquatic and recreation centre across Sydney stood down without pay

13th April 2021 - Union says swim teachers set up and pack up is paid work

11th August 2020 - Outdoor hot pools reopened at Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre

13th July 2020 - Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre’s 50 metre pool set for reconstruction

21st February 2020 - Report says Moree pool pricing Indigenous Australians out of its waters

22nd January 2020 - Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre looks to solar panels system to help reduce operating costs

10th December 2019 - Shire of Balonne opens Artesian Thermal Hot Springs at St George Pool complex

14th November 2019 - Proposed Victorian bathing trail concept gets international and domestic backing

18th May 2018 - Council rejects notice to review Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre board management

5th May 2017 - 300,000 annual visitors enjoy wellness benefits of Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre

11th December 2016 - Union launched for swimming teachers and lifeguards

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