Draft Open Space & Recreation Strategic Plan

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Consultation has concluded

Thank you for you interest, this consultation is now closed.


The draft 'Open Space and Recreation Strategic Plan' aims to provide Council with policy direction over the next 10 years in the planning, provision, management and investment relating to ‘open space’ sporting and recreation facilities and services for both our residents and visitors.

The way our community uses local recreation facilities and open space is changing. There are significant challenges to providing the diverse range of open spaces and recreation in the City.

Also, some of the facilities are ageing and do not meet modern standards. Council has insufficient resources to maintain or renew all of the current facilities as is.

There are opportunities for the new ways of providing and using open space and recreation facilities in the future, in a way that meets community needs in the fairest way possible.

Residents are encouraged to be part of the conversation about the future of open space and recreation in the Blue Mountains and to have your say.

  • View: The draft Open Space & Recreation Strategic Plan and supporting documents in the 'Document Library' to the right.


Thank you for you interest, this consultation is now closed.


The draft 'Open Space and Recreation Strategic Plan' aims to provide Council with policy direction over the next 10 years in the planning, provision, management and investment relating to ‘open space’ sporting and recreation facilities and services for both our residents and visitors.

The way our community uses local recreation facilities and open space is changing. There are significant challenges to providing the diverse range of open spaces and recreation in the City.

Also, some of the facilities are ageing and do not meet modern standards. Council has insufficient resources to maintain or renew all of the current facilities as is.

There are opportunities for the new ways of providing and using open space and recreation facilities in the future, in a way that meets community needs in the fairest way possible.

Residents are encouraged to be part of the conversation about the future of open space and recreation in the Blue Mountains and to have your say.

  • View: The draft Open Space & Recreation Strategic Plan and supporting documents in the 'Document Library' to the right.


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Use this section to ask questions 

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    Does BMCC accept that the climate is warming and that the current trend towards hotter summers will continue?

    stoplaughing asked almost 3 years ago

    Council does recognize that climate change is occurring and that the planet is steadily warming.

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    The Federal Govt Disability (Access to Premises - Buildings) Standards 2010 and the Anti Discrimination Act requires access to pools for the disabled, along with the provision of an aquatic wheel chair. 1.2 metres (the shallow end) is well over the head of a person in a wheel chair, meaning that the single 25 metre pool will not comply with any legislation. How will BMCC address this?

    stoplaughing asked almost 3 years ago

    A hoist can be used to assist a person in a wheelchair into the water. The hoist can be stopped at a suitable point to allow the person to swim out of the chair or for a carer to assist the person out of the chair. If the person is a non-swimmer or needs support in the water it is common for a lifejacket to be worn and for the carer to be in the water to support the person.

    Please see the FAQ: How do our aquatic centres and pools cater for people with a disability? which outline which facilities currently meet disability standards.


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    The draft plan makes it clear that BMCC thinks that it is perfectly reasonable for children to make the transition from a splash-pad to a 1.2 metre deep 25 metre pool as a progression in their learn-to-swim journey. This measure is dangerous because 1.2 metres (about 4ft) is the depth at which the majority of Infant school children will have their heads under water and some Primary age children will have only their head above water. A few steps toward the deep end and the consequences for weak or non-swimmers will result in drownings. What is the BMCC response to this?

    stoplaughing asked almost 3 years ago

    Blue Mountains City Council pools implement the Royal Lifesaving Society Keep Watch at Public Pool Guidelines. These guidelines do require a parent/guardian to be in the water with arms reach of children 5 years and younger and non-swimmers. For children 6-10 years constant active parental supervision is required.

    Parents would be encouraged to be in the water with their weak or non-swimming children in the 25m pool.



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    At page 8 of the Annual Financial Statements, Aquatic Centres are defined as a community service not intended to make a profit. Government policy requires that subsidies provided to customers, and the funding of those subsidies, must be explicitly disclosed. In the case of Blackheath pool, the subsidy is $12.60. The Royal Life Saving Society puts a dollar value of $27 in health gains in relation to swimming. Why is the dollar value of swimming not considered relevant in shaping the policy?

    stoplaughing asked almost 3 years ago

    The report produced by the Royal Life Saving Society estimates the value to health provided by 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity such as lap swimming or 120 minutes of low intensity exercise such as snorkeling. There is an extensive body of research into health benefits from physical activity.

    Council's Draft Plan recognizes the economic, and health and social benefits provided by an active lifestyle, and proposes to continue investment in a wide range of facilities to support and encourage all members of our community participate in the activities they prefer. The facilities which would provide these health benefits include swimming pools as well as playing fields and courts, skateparks, and tracks and trails.



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    At page 8 of the Special Financial Statements, Aquatic Centres are defined as Category 2 (where gross operating turnover is less than $2 million). Given that income from swimming pools is over $4 million (page 3 - Net cost of services) why is it not listed as a Category 1 business activity and what is the significance of this?

    stoplaughing asked almost 3 years ago

    The section this question refers to states explicitly:

    Category 2

    (where gross operating turnover is less than $2 million and/or the business activity is not intended to make a profit)

    a. Aquatics

    Council’s Aquatic Centres (a community service not intended to make a profit)

    vs.

    Category 1

    (where gross operating turnover is over $2 million)

    As Aquatic Centres DO NOT MAKE A PROFIT, isn’t it self-explanatory that Aquatics is listed under Category 2?

    Operating income of over $4M is facing Operating expenses of over $7M and the overall service (including Capital expenditure) is subsidised by the General Fund  by $3.4M in 2016/17 (as stated on page 3).

    Please refer to the Special Purpose Financial Statements’ Background sections (page 1), which states:

    Background

    These Special Purpose Financial Statements have been prepared for the use by both Council and the Office of Local Government in fulfilling their requirements under National Competition Policy.

    The principle of competitive neutrality is based on the concept of a ‘level playing field’ between persons/entities competing in a market place, particularly between private and public sector competitors.

    Essentially, the principle is that government businesses, whether Commonwealth, state or local, should operate without net competitive advantages over other businesses as a result of their public ownership.

    For Council, the principle of competitive neutrality and public reporting applies only to declared business activities.

    These include (a) those activities classified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as business activities being water supply, sewerage services, abattoirs, gas production and reticulation, and (b) those activities with a turnover of more than $2 million that Council has formally declared as a business activity (defined as Category 1 activities).

    In preparing these financial statements for Council’s self-classified Category 1 businesses and ABS-defined activities, councils must (a) adopt a corporatisation model and (b) apply full cost attribution including tax-equivalent regime payments and debt guarantee fees (where the business benefits from Council's borrowing position by comparison with commercial rates).

    Hypothetically, if Aquatic Centres were classified as Category 1, they would need to :

    • be a completely separate corporate entity

    • be a fully self-funded unit, i.e. operate under full cost-recovery

    • charge entry fees to reach break-even (market prices)

    • show their full operations in a different way of presenting Financial Statements

    and they could not be subsidised by the General Fund.

    Currently entry fees are heavily subsidised by the general ratepayer.


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    What records were kept of daily attendance figures during the period from 1st January 2018 to date in relation to all the swimming pools in the Blue Mountains l.g.a. and are they available? If not, why not?

    stoplaughing asked almost 3 years ago

    Visitation January 2018

    Please see below the total visitation on each day at each centre during January to date. This is a record of total visitors during the operating hours. The operating hours at each site does vary, the pools operate between 9hrs -14hrs each day.

            Blackheath

             Katoomba

            Lawson

            Springwood

             Glenbrook

    1st

    325

    302

    264

    366

    423

    2nd

    127

    381

    208

    411

    279

    3rd

    14

    389

    57

    451

    169

    4th

    41

    323

    60

    381

    188

    5th

    158

    468

    228

    602

    444

    6th

    393

    469

    424

    458

    432

    7th

    505

    661

    649

    729

    554

    8th

    172

    523

    269

    616

    338

    9th

    64

    436

    172

    443

    234

    10th

    14

    497

    34

    438

    144

    The maximum recorded people in the water at any one time on Sunday 7th January 2018

    Blackheath - 145 people in the water across all pools at 4:00pm

    Katoomba -   149 people in the water across all pools at 4:00pm

    Lawson -       179 people in the water across all pools at 4:00pm


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    Could you please advise me of the closing time for submissions.

    Valma_r asked almost 3 years ago

    Receipt of submissions close by 5pm on Monday 15th January 2018.

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    If only 115 people are allowed in the water at Blackheath at any time if the 25 metre pool is the only pool available, how will staff monitor and police these numbers? The document you refer to from NSW Health requires that where water depth is greater than 1.5 metres, bather load is 1 bather per 4 sq metres. In the 25 metre pool at Blackheath, this equates to 62 people. How is your Swimmer Capacity calculated at 115 people given that you are required to follow relevant legislation and guidelines?

    stoplaughing asked almost 3 years ago

    The safe capacity is calculated at Blackheath acknowledging the varying depths of water we have in our 25m pool.

    We calculate

    12.5m x 15m as greater than 1.5m deep  (Based on 4m2) 46 people and

    12.5m x 15m as less than 1.5m deep (Based on 2.7m2) 69 people

    Total capacity = 115 people

    Reaching capacity at Blackheath pool is rare however our maximum recorded people in the water this season was recorded on Sunday 7th January when 145 people were recorded as in the water at 4pm. Management strategies to manage capacity would implemented as required at these times


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    At http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/Publications/swimming-pool-and-spa-advisory-doc.pdf it states: "6.6.1 Restricting bather load and encouraging bather hygiene Restricting bather loads and encouraging bathers to toilet and shower before using a public pool is important for maintaining water quality. Filtration systems are designed for a maximum bather load and this limit should not be exceeded. The bather load should be expressed and documented by the pool designer." What is the BMCC response to this?

    stoplaughing asked almost 3 years ago

    As answered in previous question Council follows these guidelines and monitors swimmer number in our pools to ensure compliance with the guidelines, and to ensure adequate turnover of water to maintain water quality.

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    The Department of Health in Western Australia (at http://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/Files/Corporate/Reports%20and%20publications/PDF/CODE-OF-PRACTICE-AQUATIC-FACILITIES.pdf) has released a document providing a Code of Practice for Aquatic Facilities in that State. At page 52 of the document is a table relating to Maximum Bather Numbers and a figure of 3.5 sq/m is used. If that figure is applied to the Blackheath pool (as a reasonable guide), it means that in a 250 sq/m pool, only 71 people at any time would be permitted to use the pool. My question is this: does BMCC have any legal obligation, or any condition imposed by its insurance company, to limit the number of bathers in a 25 metre pool? What is the name of the BMCC insurer in this regard?

    stoplaughing asked almost 3 years ago

    Council's insurers require Council to follow relevant legislation and guidelines. Council does follow relevant guidelines for NSW and staff monitor swimmer numbers in our pools to ensure safe swimming conditions are maintained. These numbers relate to people in the pool at any one time, and each centre and the overall grounds have a larger capacity.

    See the guidelines and the swimmer capacity of each pool below:

    http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/Publications/swimming-pool-and-spa-advisory-doc.pdf

    Swimmer Capacity in each pool where changes are proposed in the Draft Strategic Plan.

    Blackheath Pool

    25metre pool

    115 people in the water

    Free form pool

    143 people in the water

    Toddlers

    24 people in the water

    Total Capacity

    282 people in the water

    Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre

    Indoor 25metre

    143 people in the water

    Indoor tots

    6 people in the water

    Spa

    6 people in the water

    Outdoor 50metre

    224 people in the water

    Outdoor learners

    24 people in the water

    Outdoor tots

    24 people in the water

    Total Capacity

    427 people in the water

    Lawson Swim Centre

    50metre pool

    231 people in the water

    Learners

    33 people in the water

    Toddlers

    22 people in the water

    Total Capacity

    286 people in the water