It is disappointing to read of the latest attempt (reported in The Courier, October 8), to question the credibility of Ballarat YMCA and the City of Ballarat, to what end I am unclear.
For some time now Mr Peter Byrne has pursued both organisations but in particular the YMCA. It initially appeared to be in response to the city's awarding of the Eureka Outdoor Pool contract to the YMCA, followed by the voicing of his dissatisfaction about the cleanliness of Ballarat Aquatic Centre and now his latest move of writing to the Auditor General regarding the awarding of the BAC management contract for another term to the YMCA.
There is no case to answer, I believe, because the City of Ballarat acted in a proper manner and the contract was awarded in complete accordance with the Local Government Act. However, I wish to use this opportunity to correct some of the assumptions put forward.
1. It is nonsense to suggest that other management companies would be put off by the city offering a 10-year contract. Quite the opposite is true as the major companies would be excited by securing such a term.
On the previous occasion that the contract was put out to tender in 2005/06 there were no competitors to Ballarat YMCA.
Might it be that the other management companies take time to analyse the reputation and performance of the YMCA over the years that it has operated this facility, consider the relationship it has with the local community and make an assessment that they could do no better?
2. The assertion that the YMCA stands to gain $580,000 annual fee for its management role is quite simply incorrect.The most disappointing aspect in all of this of course is the implication that the staff and volunteers who work at the Aquatic Centre are not capable of either managing the city's asset or providing a quality recreation service to the Ballarat and district community.
From my own experience working with the YMCA I know this to be untrue. Perhaps there are others out there who would like to balance the strong negative crusades with some positive points of view?