GUTTED: Dalby, Chinchilla and Miles pools manager Micheal Wise said he and his staff now face uncertainty.
GUTTED: Dalby, Chinchilla and Miles pools manager Micheal Wise said he and his staff now face uncertainty. Michael Doyle

Pool goes coastal as council dumps locals

GUT-WRENCHING is the term used to describe the council's decision to not renew the tenders for the operators of the Dalby and Jandowae pools.

Western Downs Regional Council decided on Wednesday to offer the contract for the pools to Sunshine Coast company Swimfit.

The new contract begins on July 1, leaving the current managers of the pools just 10weeks to finish and find new employment.

Micheal Wise has run the Dalby pool for the last six years and said he and his staff faced great uncertainty about their futures.

"Basically they believe this new company is going to offer better service than what we are - and at a cheaper price,” Mr Wise said.

"I am absolutely gutted, I've got 30-odd staff working for me, the uncertainty of that 30 staff not having jobs now, let alone myself, it's gut-wrenching.”

Mr Wise said it hurt knowing local businesses were being overlooked for companies from outside the region.

"Especially when council is so dominant about ... supporting locals and tryingto build local businesses and stuff like that and then they have just wiped four local businesses and employed someone fromthe Sunshine Coast,” he said.

"It is heart-wrenching.”

Mr Wise said he had to phone small schools in areas such as Tara, Moonie and The Gums and inform them he will no longer be able to teach their students how to swim.

Jandowae pool manager Nicky Zeller said no longer being able to serve the community through swimming was a tough pill to swallow.

"If it is true that council sourced outside businesses to come and look at our pools to come and tender, that is wrong,” Mrs Zeller said.

"Council told me they would not go with the cheapest option but that is what has happened.”

Mayor Paul McVeigh said the decision by the council was made with the community in mind.

"Council has the responsibility to use our ratepayers' money to the best advantage and Swimfit's tender ... was very attractive both financially and for what they offer,” he said.

"They have expressed they will employ locally and they will buy locally.”

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