[ED – Mr Rowe copied this letter addressed to town …

Comment on The Y withdraws from town pool management by Erwin Chlanda.

[ED – Mr Rowe copied this letter addressed to town councillors to the Alice Springs News Online. Erwin Chlanda, Editor.]

Hello Councillors,
In the wake of the recent town pool debacle, I would like you to be aware of something when renegotiating a new management contract [for the town pool – aquatic centre].
I wrote to the Alice Springs News when the YMCA contract was first awarded, outlining my concern that popular swimming coaches Deb Renkin and Petina Franklin were prevented from using the new heated facility because one of the conditions in awarding the management contract was that the YMCA had exclusive rights to any learn to swim program.
I know that Petina has taught many children (including my own) over the years and is very popular.
I found it disappointing that considering this a facility funded by both the Alice Springs Town Council and the NT Government for all residents, that we could not choose the instructor we wanted. It was either the YMCA or use the outdoor pool (in the middle of winter)!
If instructors wanted to use the facility, they were told that they had to become YMCA staff and teach the Y’s program.
As part of my initial complaint, I informed Lawrie Lawrence and Dawn Fraser of the situation. Dawn in particular was surprised that anybody would even consider placing commercial interests over such an important issue of children learning to swim.
I can only hope that if a new manager is appointed, part of the contract will be that local swimming instructors are not excluded from using the facility, and they are charged a fair fee for lane hire.
All parents should feel free to select the instructor of their choosing, at a  facility that is essentially owned by residents / ratepayers /taxpayers of Alice Springs. This facility was not built for the YMCA
I can only implore you to ensure that all stakeholders are consulted whenever a new management tender is advertised, to prevent a repeat of the restriction of trade policy that was accepted with the previous managers.   
I believe that some concessions were made with instructors.
Ray Rowe
Alice Springs

Hi Ray, Thank you for sending me a copy of the email you forwarded on to the above recipients and I believe it is in the community’s best interest that they have a choice when selecting their children’s swimming teachers.
Regards
Petina Franklin

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