An innovative new approach to leisure facilities management contracts is set to cut costs, improve service and enhance long term planning for the City of Boroondara in Melbourne’s inner east.‪


The municipality has five major leisure and aquatic facilities receiving over 2.7 million visits from residents each year.‪‪


Like many local governments, Boroondara chooses to go out to public tender for the management of its leisure and aquatic facilities. But recently, the Council adopted a new approach.  Rather than offer separate management contracts for individual, or smaller groups of facilities, a single management contract for the whole group,  with a total asset value of $120 million and an annual turnover in excess of $12 million, was offered.‪‪


In addition, the new, all-encompassing facilities management contract is for an initial period of three years with possible further extensions, at Council's discretion, of two terms of three years to a maximum contract term of nine years.‪‪


The tender, which was advertised across Australia and beyond, was recently awarded to YMCA Victoria and commences on July 1, 2011.‪‪


According to Boroondara CEO Dr Catherine Dale, the contract improvements provide greater certainty for Council and the successful contractor YMCA Victoria. 


“Council now has a guaranteed return of over $3 million for the first  three year period of the new contract. The return to Council will continue to increase in subsequent years and as we are planning for the redevelopment of all  our leisure and aquatic facilities over the next seven to ten years,  that financial surety is welcome.  It also means greater security for YMCA Victoria and their plans for staff, clients and the enhancement of service provision to the community.


“The contract takes a very collaborative approach to planning for, and delivering, services at the facilities.  We will work closely with YMCA Victoria to ensure a detailed strategic plan, embedded with Council's values and visions for enhanced community wellbeing, is created for the facilities as a group.”‪‪


Dr Dale says the innovations will substantially reduce the time officers spend preparing tenders and contracts.


“Designing the tenders, getting legal advice and preparing the contracts themselves, takes thousands of hours. Streamlining the process saves time and money.


”‪‪Importantly, the facilities’ users are also expected to see improvements, including greater program diversity and uniformity, a new state of the art website and less queuing with the installation of electronic kiosks.‪  We are certain it will deliver better outcomes for residents and Council.”‪‪


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