Assesses whether councils effectively identify community needs for recreational facilities and services and whether council planning decisions for aquatic recreation centres are soundly based.
This audit assessed whether councils effectively identify community needs for recreational facilities and services, whether council planning decisions for aquatic recreation centres are soundly based and whether councils are maximising value from these facilities. The audited councils effectively engage with their communities and have a sound understanding of their needs relating to aquatic recreational centres (ARCs). This informs planning for ARC redevelopments and the establishment of new facilities. The examined ARCs are generally well planned and managed. However, most ARC operations are heavily subsidised by councils who are reliant on grants for new developments and refurbishments. The cost of providing ARCs should be balanced against social and other community outcomes, however none of the audited councils effectively evaluate their ARC services to determine how well they are meeting council's broader policy objectives. Similarly, Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) needs to improve its monitoring and reporting on the outcomes of ARC related grants to provide assurance that grants are achieving their intended objectives. SRV and councils also need to improve regional planning so that facility planning and development is well coordinated and regional impacts are considered, particularly in the case of new developments which may affect neighbouring councils. Available information suggests there is a large number of aging Victorian ARCs which will require significant spending in the near future.