Privatisation plan dropped

The announcement to staff in an email came two days before the public consultation period on the proposed change was due to finish on November 27.

Guardian Express last week reported on the planned privatisation of the Mt Lawley and Joondalup campus fitness centres and the potential impacts on gym users, people involved in clinical trials and parents who used the associated creches,

In the email, Professor Chapman said the university executive had decided not to proceed with the privatisation after a meeting on November 25.

�While the consultation feedback indicated divergent views on the change management proposal, the university executive has determined that there are opportunities particularly related to academic programs and research to be pursued through retaining management of the ECU Sports and Fitness Centres,� the email said.

�As we explore new opportunities and improvement to services, there may still be challenging decisions ahead.

�However, the Sports and Fitness Centres will continue to be managed by ECU.�

Vern Gardam joined the Mt Lawley campus gym after participating in a clinical trial at the university of people recovering from prostate cancer.

Mr Gardam said the vice-chancellor�s change of heart was a win for common sense.

�What the vice-chancellor has done is applied commo sense quickly and firmly,� he said.

�I commend him for that.

�I think there will be a lot of community members who are well pleased with this decision.�

ECU corporate services vice-president Scott Henderson said the university had undertaken a �genuine consultation process� with students, staff and the community.