Private operator to manage shire centres Continued from Page 1 “New team members would be employed by Belgravia Leisure on their terms and conditions,” Mr Cowie told The News. Belgravia Leisure CEO Nick Cox said the company will host break-fasts and information sessions for leisure centre group members and will work with staff during the transition period. “Belgravia Leisure is very excited to be partnering with Mornington Peninsula Shire and we look forward to working with the local team in expanding upon the current programs and services,” Mr Cox said in a statement. “We will work with existing members, user groups and community organisations to plan and deliver a range of new and exciting aquatic and fitness programs. In particular, our focus will be on increasing access for people of all ages and abilities. “Belgravia Leisure will maintain existing memberships and bookings, with no changes to current programs, services or operational hours. We are confident that through additional programming significant benefits will flow through to the community.” Belgravia Leisure was founded in 1990 by current chairman Geoff Lord, a former president of Hawthorn Football Club and Melbourne Victory, and employs more than 4500 people across leisure centres managed in partnership with state governments and councils. In May this year The News revealed Peninsula Leisure Pty Ltd, a Frankston Council owned company, and Belgra-
via Leisure had spoken to the shire about managing peninsula sports and leisure centres. Frankston councillors subsequently voted to restrict Peninsula Leisure’s operations to the two Frankston swimming centres amid concerns about “financial risks” to Frankston ratepayers through “empire building”. The door was left open for Peninsula Leisure to present a business plan to operate other sports centres within the Frankston municipality. Peninsula Leisure operates the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre (PARC) in Frankston and the Pines Forest Aquatic Centre in Frankston North. A 7-2 majority of shire councillors voted to award a five-year contract to Belgravia Leisure at this month’s council meeting on Tuesday 12 September. The decision was discussed in private after the public council meeting for commercial-in-confidence reasons. Crs Colomb, Rosie Clark, Bryan Payne, Hugh Fraser, Frank Martin, Simon Brooks and Antonella Celi voted in favour of the awarding of the contract. Crs Kate Roper and David Gill voted against the deal. The only sports centre to remain under council management after October will be the Somerville Recreation & Community Centre. The stadium that houses basketball courts was severely fire damaged and closed to the public in May 2016.
Ferry good time: Natasha Rami, back left, and Georgia Croad, right, with the netballers from Ngukurr in the Northern Territory, Freda Daniels, Anesia Lansen, Viola Gumbula, Lindell Ponto, Risharna Murrungun, Tahlana Munur, Zacquaysha Gumbula, Nickiesha Warramara, Queenie Joshua and Maylene Rogers. Picture: Supplied
Trip of firsts for netballers THE outlook was certainly different for a group of girl netballers who arrived in Sorrento last week. Although well into spring, the continuing wintery weather that greeted them was a far cry from that of their home in the remote Northern Territory community of Ngukurr. The 10 girls – aged nine to 13 – experienced their first plane trip, rode in a gondola to the top of Arthurs Seat and then crossed Port Phillip on the ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff.
The group’s trip was arranged by Georgia Croad, of Sorrento, who has been teaching at Ngukurr for the past year. Along with her friend Zoe Grayson, Ms Croad started the netball team to give the girls something to focus on. Government grants and internet fundraising contributed towards the cost of the four-day trip, which included playing at Sorrento Netball Club and visiting Sorrento and St Joseph’s primary schools.
Ngukurr, 636 kilometres southeast of Darwin, is on the banks of the Roper River in southern Arnhem Land with a population of about 1100. Ms Croad, 27, has been in the territory for about three years and has previously worked in Cambodia. As well as sampling the various modes of transport on the peninsula a highlight for the netball girls was lunch at Sorrento beach. Keith Platt
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Southern Peninsula News
19 September 2017
Southern Peninsula News 19 September 2017