Aqua Splash Gold Coast to Re-open
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SAFETY FEARS AS COUNCIL REPLACES WATER PARK FOUNDER WITH ROOKIE
As the founder of Southport’s hugely popular inflatable water park Aqua Splash, we fear for the safety of thousands of locals and tourists after a controversial council decision to effectively gift our vision to a rookie operator.
We conceived and launched AquaSplash Gold Coast five years ago and we are now pursuing legal action against Council following its decision to award the tender to “supply” the Broadwater Parklands attraction to a company with no experience running a water park in a tidal environment.
In late July, a business associate told us that the Gold Coast Wake Park, a Maudsland wakeboarding attraction, had asked for a list of AquaSplash Gold Coast’s staff because they had won the tender and hoped to employ them.
We contacted Council’s Procurement Office the following day seeking clarity, with a staff member later confirming via email that AquaSplash had lost the contract.
During the summer holidays, we often oversee up to 3000 customers each day in an environment that is extremely intense from a safety perspective.
Guests range from international tourists who can’t swim to small children constantly playing on the water’s edge and we have earned a reputation as a world leader in safety for such open water parks.
We struggle to fathom how an operator with no experience running an inflatable attraction in a tidal, open water setting will cope in such an intense environment from a safety perspective.
During our five years we have built relationships with more than 60 Gold Coast schools, with the likes of TSS, St Michael’s College and St Hilda’s even including visits in their sport curriculum.
We’ve allowed children with disabilities to use the facilities free of charge and had lifeguards supervise them in isolation to ensure they received the special attention they need.
These relationships are among our most valued achievements and informing these schools and groups about the current situation when they’ve tried to book their spots for the upcoming season has been devastating.
AquaSplash is now forced to continue legal action unless council reversed its decision.
We are totally bewildered by Council’s decision to turn its back on us as we thought we had developed a great partnership.
We believed we were one of the city’s success stories – a fledgling business that had added another quality attraction to the tourism landscape.
We didn’t just come up with the idea of a Broadwater Parklands water park. We turned it into a raging success from nothing and to have that dream ripped away from us for reasons we can’t fathom is nothing short of devastating.
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