Bay waterslide structure deemed unsafe, manager disagrees
THE manager of the Golf 'N' Games Waterslide in Torquay is thousands of dollars out of pocket after the council shut the business down due to safety concerns.
An enforcement notice handed to manager David Nava last Friday, and seen by the Chronicle, has closed the amusement park on Cypress St.
The notice provided to Mr Nava from Fraser Coast Regional Council cites "dangerous" waterslide structures in "urgent need of repair".
The popular waterslide will remain closed until the owner of the land replaces all of the stairs, handrails, steel and timber components of the structures.
However Mr Nava, who took over managing the business in December last year, said hundreds of thousands of dollars would need to be injected to replace the timber slide structure.
He said business had begun to pick-up since the end of last year.
Mr Nava has questioned how the council could shut down his business after two inspections, claiming a council officer spent only minutes touring his facility to determine it was unsafe.
Parties were cancelled at the weekend and more business will be lost due to cancelled functions and birthdays leading into the Easter holidays.
"There's five staff out of work," Mr Nava said.
"I've estimated about $5000 will be lost."
But divisional councillor Stuart Taylor said the safety of the community was paramount.
"I would rather make an error to shut it down than not make the error to shut it down and a life is lost," he said.
"This is not about shutting down business, this is a safety concern."
The investigation was launched after community members commented on the safety of the structure, Cr Taylor said.
He also defended the council officer's decision to raise concerns about the structure.
"Council's inspection staff are suitably qualified to carry out the inspections and will continue to work with the owner to achieve a suitable outcome," Cr Taylor said.
Mr Nava will meet with Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell on Tuesday when he hopes to find an outcome.
He said he would be happy if the council allowed the business to continue trading while structural improvements were done.