Business as usual as Moree council begins legal action against MAAC construction company

LEGAL action has been lodged against Swimplex Aquatics, the company contracted earlier this decade to redevelop the Moree spa baths and swimming pool complex.

The complex was reopened to the public as the newly-branded Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre in September, 2012 amid plenty of fanfare and publicity – as well as its share of controversy and criticism.

Moree council recently commenced legal proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court against Swimplex Aquatics, with mayor Katrina Humphries saying that “Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre, as we all now know it, is an important part of our shire’s identity.”

“Bearing this in mind, council is invested in ensuring that the facility delivers to its full potential for our local community and also our visitors,” Cr Humphries said.

“As owner of this community asset, council is pursuing these proceedings to ensure the facility can realise its full potential as a major tourist attraction for the region.


The much-maligned MAAC is the focus of legal action lodged by MPSC against construction company Swimplex Aquatics (Image: Bill Poulos).

“Given Moree is known as Australia’s ‘artesian water country’, it’s vital we make the most of this facility,” she said.

Swimplex Aquatics, with offices at Coffs Harbour and Orange, is an Australian partner of Polin Waterparks.

According to its website, the company specialises in “pool construction, renovation, refurbishment, filtration, heating, waterslides and the manufacture of innovative pool products” and lists Sea World, Big 4 Holiday Parks, Sydney Aquarium, Shoalhaven Swim and Fitness, BHP Billiton, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Royal Randwick, Fremantle Football Club and Virgin Active Health Clubs as among its “valued clients”.

Swimplex Aquatics was contracted to undertake extensive works on the Moree Spa Baths complex and the new-look Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre was opened to the public in September, 2012 at a cost of around $8 million.

The renovated MAAC has a FINA standard 50m Olympic pool and two hot artesian pools both naturally heated.SoBestCoffee

There is also a program pool used for hydrotherapy, aqua aerobics and learn-to-swim classes as well as a splash-pad and interactive toddlers’ pool.

A 10-metre high waterslide was also part of the reconstruction and MAAC also features an artesian wellness and day spa and commercial gym and fitness centre.

The complex is Moree’s biggest tourism attraction, and draws visitors from across the globe.

Mayor Humphries said that despite the legal action against Swimplex Aquatics, the top priority for Council and the MAAC Board was to ensure locals and visitors could continue to use the pools to their full extent.

“We are a local government authority and we take this part of our business incredibly seriously,” Cr Humphries said.

Monitoring, assessments and testing have been, and will continue to be, regularly completed by pool staff, council officers and independent bodies to ensure the pools meet the highest possible safety standards, the mayor said.

“As always, the health and safety of our pool users remains our top priority and I want to reassure everyone that the pools are open for business, operational and safe to use,” she said.

Words and Image: Bill PoulosDCMThatsWhere