Hawkesbury Council to review Hawkesbury Oasis Centre management

People swim in the pool at the Hawkesbury Oasis Centre. Picture: Geoff Jones
People swim in the pool at the Hawkesbury Oasis Centre. Picture: Geoff Jones

HAWKESBURY Council will conduct an extensive review of the Oasis Aquatic Centre including its management, after a Notice of Motion was passed at the October 31 meeting.

The Oasis centre is owned by Council, and the YMCA is contracted to manage it. The current contract began in 2014, and will expire on June 30, 2019, although Council has an option to extend it for five further years if it chose.

Certain members of the community have long been vocal about concerns they have about the YMCA, which manages the Oasis, and they often air their grievances at Council meetings, with October 31’s meeting no exception.

The Notice of Motion, which was unanimously supported, was brought forward by Liberal councillor Sarah Richards, and calls for a review of the centre and its management among other things, with a report to be brought back to Council with the findings.

Hawkesbury Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett supported the Notice of Motion.

“We've had people continuously bringing us complaints about the Oasis and I think it is something that really needs to be looked at,” she said.

The deputy Mayor Barry Calvert also said he supported a review of the centre and its operations.

“There are a lot of people talking about Oasis centre and how tired it has become and I think it is time we look at the management model that we have,” he said.

The Gazette put a number of questions to the YMCA about the Notice of Motion. The YMCA and Hawkesbury Council submitted the following joint response.

“YMCA NSW and Hawkesbury City Council have a long standing partnership in delivering a range of fitness and aquatics programs as well as community services at Hawkesbury Oasis, which cater to the diverse needs of the local community,” they said.

“The centre exists for the customers and we rely on their feedback in improving the services we offer. YMCA NSW welcomes the forthcoming review in order to further improve on the services offered to the Hawkesbury community now and into the future.”

Included in the Notice of Motion was a request from Cr Calvert to look into a pool or water park at North Richmond.

Cr Calvert said North Richmond was one of the most rapidly growing areas in the Hawkesbury, and said Council ought to approach the state government and other private industry to see if a pool or gymnasium could be set up on the western side of Hawkesbury River.

He added that with heavy local traffic in the Hawkesbury at times, families maybe more eager to go to a pool if it was closer, rather than in Richmond or Windsor.