Acting Fraser Coast mayor Julie Arthur is joined by Greg Wall from Wormald (left) and Richard Kelleway from Tyco Fire and Security in surveying safety upgrades at the Hervey Bay PCYC.
Acting Fraser Coast mayor Julie Arthur is joined by Greg Wall from Wormald (left) and Richard Kelleway from Tyco Fire and Security in surveying safety upgrades at the Hervey Bay PCYC. ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN

PCYC saga finally ends

THE PRESIDENT of an Asian-Pacific fire protection company has given the seal of approval to upgrades at Hervey Bay PCYC that have enabled the beleaguered centre to reopen its doors today.

“It's best in class,” Richard Kelleway, of Tyco Fire and Security, said yesterday.

“The levels of quality of product are second to none.

“I can tell you categorically that there will be no issues with safety.”

Mr Kelleway visited the Fraser Coast to inspect the work carried out by Wormald Fire Systems Hervey Bay to bring the centre up to standard.

The Pialba sports and events venue was controversially shut down after fire officers insisted stringent new fire control measures be introduced.

A report by Mike Corser, Maryborough-based Queensland Fire Service Acting Inspector, initially stopped recreation and community activities on O'Rourke Street at the end of July.

Within a week of Mr Corser's report, it emerged that the Hervey Bay Police Citizens Youth Club had never been a legally certified or fire-safe building since its opening in 1998.

The former Hervey Bay City Council, which owned the building and leased it to the PCYC, never secured final certification and Queensland Fire and Rescue had never signed off on it.

As a result of the controversy the Fraser Coast council produced a list of 23 items to be addressed before it could reopen for conventions and events.

PCYC manager Sergeant Pat Fleming then took the difficult decision to close the centre to the public on August 9.

Three months later, and after a mess of bureaucratic twists and turns, the centre reopens its doors to the public this morning.

The building passed its final inspection on Thursday last, after the council had to spend about $250,000 to get it compliant.

The 92-day closure has hit the PCYC coffers hard with club's $50,000 savings whittled down to less than $2000.

Victoria-based Mr Kelleway said 10 of Wormald's technicians had worked on the upgrades at the PCYC.

“Everything is well within code and standard now. It compares with anything I've seen anywhere else.”

The PCYC is the largest sport and recreation centre in the Wide Bay area and has more than 2500 members. More than 58,000 people passed through its doors during the 2008/09 financial year.

The club caters for 37 soccer, 19 netball and eight volleyball teams.

The safety issue came to a head after a third basketball court was approved at the centre.



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