Malvern Tennis Centre and Orrong Park Tennis Centre

Malvern Tennis Centre and Orrong Park Tennis Centre will have new management from 1 January 2019.

BlueFit is bringing in a qualified and experienced tennis coaching team under the direction of MUSTA.

BlueFit are working to ensure families and people currently using the Malvern Tennis Centre and Orrong Park Tennis Centre can transition to their operations smoothly in the new year. Information about court booking, coaching and programs for the upcoming school holidays will be available on bluefit.com.au shortly.

While the commercial tender process is commercial in confidence, we recognise that we should have done a better job about keeping the community informed. We are committed to learning from this experience and communicating earlier in the future.

To make a booking at either Malvern Tennis Centre or Orrong Park Tennis Centre, visit BlueFit's website

Full transcript of a statement from CEO, Warren Roberts, about the tender process

 

 

  • Is Council is shutting down the tennis centres?

    No.The Malvern Tennis Centre is temporarily closed for improvement works and is expected to re-open in February 2019.

     

  • What is changing?

    The management and provision of services at Malvern Tennis Centre and Orrong Park Tennis Centre transferred to BlueFit on 1 January 2019.

  • Will BlueFit keep these sites as community tennis facilities?

    Yes. BlueFit are required to retain both sites as community tennis facilities.

     

  • Will the facilities change hours?

    No. BlueFit are required to retain public access and hours of operation at both facilities.

     

  • Will I still be able to book courts, receive coaching or enrol my children in holiday programs in 2019?

    Yes, information about court booking, coaching and programs for the upcoming summer school holidays is available on BlueFit’s website stonningtontennis.com.au.

     

  • Will fees increase?

    No. We do not anticipate that there will be any cost increases.

     

  • How was the tender awarded?

    Malvern Tennis Centre and Orrong Park Tennis Centre operate under a commercial contract. As this contract was expiring, Council undertook a public tender process.

    The tender was an open publicly advertised process. Documentation included five key assessment criteria: experience and understanding of the tennis industry, site management and service offering, community benefits, financial return and adherence to OHS.

    The tender process stipulates that Council can only evaluate the information provided by the tenderer.

    A fair, open and competitive tender process is essential to ensure that our community receives the best sporting and social outcomes, but also a fair return from the money Council invests in building and maintaining our high-quality sporting facilities.

    Council conducted extensive reference checks before appointing BlueFit, including seeking confirmation from Tennis Victoria about the MUSTA Director and Head Coach’s abilities to meet our community’s high expectations.

     

  • Is there any truth to claims that the tender outcome was solely based on financials and Council is ‘pocketing profits’?

    No. The City of Stonnington, like all councils, is a not for profit entity.

    We take our responsibilities to rate payers and residents very seriously. We deliver of 120 services to a vibrant and diverse community that expect high quality services and value for money. It is sometimes challenging to find balance between community expectations and a fair return for residents from their rates.

    The tender was an open publicly advertised process. Documentation included five key assessment criteria: experience and understanding of the tennis industry, site management and service offering, community benefits, financial return and adherence to OHS.

    A fair, open and competitive tender process is essential to ensure that our community receives the best sporting and social outcomes, but also a fair return from the money Council invests in building and maintaining our high-quality sporting facilities.

  • Can Council share how the tenderers scored against each of the evaluation criteria?

    Commercial in confidence laws prevent us from releasing tenderers scored against each of the evaluation criteria.

    This process is alike across all organisations and governments and commercial in confidence rules are legally binding.

     

  • Where was the tender advertised?

    The tender for the management of Malvern Tennis Centre and Orrong Park Tennis Centre was advertised in The Age on Saturday 15 September 2018, as well as Council’s website and TenderLink (the leading Australian website for commercial and government tender advertising) for the duration of the tender period (15 September to 15 October 2018).

  • Was Stuart Draffin the Acting Chief Executive Officer when the contract was awarded?

    No. Stuart Draffin was the acting CEO from Monday 12 November until Friday 16 November 2018. At no point during this time did he have any involvement or influence in this tender process.

    The City of Stonnington Chief Executive Officer, Warren Roberts made this decision 29 November 2018.

     

  • Has Council changed its story since earlier media reports?

    No. A full transcripts of Council’s response to the Herald Sun on the 12 December 2018.

    <START >

    The Malvern Tennis Centre and Orrong Park Tennis Centre have always operated under a commercial contract. As this contract was expiring, Council undertook a public tender process with a public advertising period of one month.

    The City of Stonnington’s Community and Culture Department carried out a considered and objective evaluation of submissions, following this BlueFit were appointed. This process was subsequently assessed by legal counsel to ensure that the process undertaken was sound.

    BlueFit are well placed to continue the operation of programs and activities at the centres, and will provide a qualified and experienced tennis coaching team under the direction of Adrian Muscillo. Council conducted extensive reference checks before appointing BlueFit, including seeking confirmation from Tennis Victoria about their ability to meet our community’s high expectations.

    Council does not repeat or reset the tender process because an unsuccessful party is unhappy with the outcome.

    Mr Draffin was not involved at any stage in the tender process or assessment, nor does he have any authority in this matter. As the process is confidential, he was unaware of any of the tenderers until after the decision had been made and BlueFit had been appointed.

    There is no basis to any claims or suggestions that Mr Draffin had a conflict of interest.

    <END>

     

  • Is there any truth to claims being made about a conflict of interest during the tender process?

    No. To categorically remove all doubt, Stuart Draffin was not involved at any stage in the tender process or assessment, nor does he have any authority in this matter.

    As with all of our tenders, legal counsel have been involved in every step along the way and have confirmed that there was no conflict of interest.

    We recognise that we should have kept our tennis community better informed. We are doing our best to learn from this experience and do better in the future.

    We have been saddened and disappointed by the actions of a vocal minority who have used this opportunity to deliberately spread untruths about Stuart Draffin. Worse still that they have also sought to target and embarrass his family.

    Council will explore all legal options to redress these baseless and defamatory claims that seek to impugn the integrity and character of those in our employ.

     

     

  • But isn’t Stuart Draffin ‘close personal friends’ with the successful tenderer?

    Absolutely not. Independent of Stuart Draffin’s professional life, he has been an active volunteer, particularly in the tennis community. This includes being a committee member of his local tennis club, Eildon Park Tennis Club (based in Rowville).

    Stuart Draffin does have a professional relationship with the head coach of MUSTA in Stuart’s capacity as a committee member, as they are the contracted coaching services provider at Eildon Park TC.

    They have never socialised and have no relationship outside their respective roles at the club

  • Why wasn’t the community consulted?

    The commercial tender processes need to be kept confidential to ensure that our community receives the best sporting and social outcomes, but also a fair return from the money Council invests in building and maintaining our high-quality sporting facilities.

    Benefits and services for our community were central to the assessment and all tenderers were invited to detail their proposed service offerings as well as benefits to the community. The tender process stipulates that Council can only evaluate the information provided by the tenderer.

    This process is alike across all organisations and governments and commercial in confidence rules are legally binding.

    We recognise that even though community consultation cannot form a part of a commercial tender process, we should have done a better job about keeping the community informed. We are committed to learning from this experience and communicating earlier in the future

     

  • Are the cafés closing?

    No. The Cubbyhouse is closed for the holidays and will reopen on 30 January 2019.

    BlueFit‘s preference is to keep all the current cafés at both facilities with the existing operators and has contacted all operators to gauge their interest in continuing onsite. 

  • Why is the Malvern Tennis Centre closed at the moment?

    The Malvern Tennis Centre is temporarily closed for upgrades, it is expected these will be completed in February 2019.  

  • What is included in the upgrades?

    The works will see new tennis nets, line marking and synthetic playing surfaces for the centre’s five courts. We will also be upgrading existing floodlights with energy efficient, low light spill LED lights and improving fencing, drains and landscaping. 

  • Will the upgrades include changes to the facility to accommodate sporting groups other than tennis?

    No, BlueFit are required to retain both sites’ as community tennis facilities.

  • What do the upgrades have to do with the tender process?

    The upgrades have been planned for some time and are independent of the tender process. Council liaised with the centre’s current management over the past year and confirmed the works schedule with management on Monday 29 October 2018. 

  • How long will the centres be closed for?

    We anticipate that works at Malvern Tennis Centre will be complete and the upgraded facilities ready for the community to use by February 2019.

  • Why were notifications about the management change so short?

    The tender process took longer than expected as a third sport and recreation site was originally included in the documentation. All interested parties were kept up to date about the changes to the timeline and the impact on the handover time once a contract was awarded.

    A legal challenge to the tender process by one of the tenderer’s lawyers delayed Council’s announcement to the community about the successful tenderer.

  • What else do BlueFit manage?

    BlueFit manage a number of sport and recreation facilities along Australia’s east coast, including leisure and aquatic centres and golf courses. 

  • Do BlueFit have experience managing tennis facilities?

    While this is BlueFit’s first dedicated tennis facility, their management has large tennis complex management experience.

    BlueFit are partnering with the Muscillo Tennis Academy (MUSTA) who have been nationally recognised and awarded by Tennis Australia as a leading academy and are highly respected within the Melbourne tennis community.

    Visit BlueFit's website for more about their incoming coaching team. 

     

  • Does this mean BlueFit will manage council’s pool and leisure centres?

    No. Council manages our pools and leisure centres in house. We have no intention of changing this arrangement.

  • Have there been discussions between Council and BlueFit about the management of the indoor stadium proposed at Percy Treyvaud Memorial Park?

    No. Council has had absolutely no discussions about the future management of the indoor stadium proposed at Percy Treyvaud Memorial Park with any service provider

     

  • Are BlueFit based in Melbourne?

    Yes. Bluefit started in New South Wales, their head office is located in Melbourne.

    BlueFit are partnering with the Muscillo Tennis Academy (MUSTA) who have been nationally recognised and awarded by Tennis Australia as a leading academy and are highly respected within Melbourne tennis community.