Operational Frameworks City of Gold Coast Venues


Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


Council of the City of Gold Coast


Various scopes of consultancy work focused on operational framework planning and venue business modelling for new City venues across sports, aquatics, leisure and civic precincts


Since 2016


Dean Hassall and Carolynne Hassall

  • The City of Gold Coast's Community Venues and Services Branch is responsible for the administration and management of the City’s major sport and recreation venues including aquatic centres (among a much wider portfolio of services and amenity provision).

  • In the Gold Coast winning the right to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the City appreciated it played a key delivery role - including dedicating significant capital and operational contributions - towards world-class sporting and events infrastructure, which would leave an ongoing legacy benefit to the Gold Coast community for years to come.

  • Branch management consequently recognised an imperative to plan accordingly to maximise the operational efficiencies and effectiveness of their venues post-Commonwealth Games in 2018.

  • This included defining organisational structures, business models, a budget model and identifying the priorities, outcomes, strategies and other issues and challenges that must be addressed by the City for their venues’ ongoing safe, successful and sustainable operations.

  • Over time, additional City of Gold Coast venue and precinct developments have expanded Council's sport, recreation and civic infrastructure asset portfolio and Dean Hassall Consulting has worked with the City on several of these projects. Some developments are complete and now in operational mode, with other initiatives remaining in conceptual phase at this time.

  • DHC was initially engaged by the Council of the City of Gold Coast (the City) to deliver a review of current operational readiness frameworks and practices for new City-owned venues and the existing Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, along with forward business planning.

  • Over time, subsequent engagements have stemmed from the range of inputs DHC provided to the City in relation to the above operational commencement framework.

  • Dean Hassall, together with Carolynne Hassall (on specific scopes of work regarding Pimpama Sports Hub and Coomera Civic Hub), has supported the City with a wide variety of consultancy services within a continuous improvement strategy for the City's venues portfolio.

  • Select projects are expanded upon (below) to highlight key consultancy services delivered. (Brief examples of other select projects delivered with the City of Gold Coast are also included below.)


Operational Start-up Framework for New City Venues

  • Detailed on‐site discussions with City staff as to their current systems, procedures and processes relevant to scope, along with major challenges faced

  • Desktop review of a variety of related documents either provided by the City or held by DHC

  • Industry‐based benchmarking with “like‐for‐like” venues for comparative purposes

  • Delivery of a detailed report from an independent venue management industry specialist perspective, incorporating key findings and recommendations in the following areas:

  • recommendations for consideration surrounding future improvement strategies aimed at comparisons of current City systems and practices against industry best practice, and any associated “gaps” identified

  • status of current operational documentation, operational practices and systems

  • governance frameworks

  • an assessment of the management of safety, security, risk and compliance

  • emergency management health check

  • review of the organisational structure/framework of the venues and businesses within a local government environment

  • DHC’s report was supported by a workshop Dean Hassall facilitated with City personnel, on venue operational readiness

  • Additional assistance was provided with event planning and event operations and management advice specific to the Sudirman Cup (Badminton International).

Business Planning - Major Sports Venues and Aquatic Centres

  • Peer review of the final version of a new Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre Operations Manual

  • Assistance with drafting a Major Sports Venues and Aquatic Centres Business Plan including future operations model

  • Peer review of future Major Sports Venue budget forecasts, including:

  • peer review of 10-year forecast operating and capital plans

  • highlighting any major gap analysis or areas of concern as benchmarked against similar venues and industry standards

  • Assistance with future contracting options and conditions for a variety of the City’s Aquatic Centres, involving:

  • review of current contracting conditions and legal agreements

  • benchmarking current conditions against good practice industry standards from a financial, governance and risk management perspective

  • providing input into revised contracting conditions to ensure better financial and risk sharing outcomes for the City

Risk management framework City of Gold Coast Major Sporting Venues

  • reviewing risk management practices across this venue-business unit

  • assisting to upskill venues staff in creating a risk management framework that captures commercial and operational risks associated with day-to-day operations

Coomera Civic Hub operational planning

A future community facility identified for the northern Gold Coast, incorporating City Libraries, Customer Service Contact Centre, Community Centre programmable spaces, and embedded Arts and Culture content within activation framework.

  • DHC work has involved identifying operational requirements and overlay that will inform the design phase of the Coomera Civic Hub (concept).

  • Ongoing DHC scope relates to developing an innovative operational and resourcing model for the Hub, which satisfies the requirements of all stakeholders and can be implemented upon the building’s construction.

Pimpama Sports Hub Operational Planning

A recently-completed integrated aquatic, sporting and community precinct (master plan development) located on the northern Gold Coast, Pimpama Sports Hub has been built to service an under supply of facilities and services in the fast-growing region.

  • In preparation for project completion and readiness upon opening, DHC has worked with the City on management models, governance and operational resourcing structures, budget assumptions and risk analysis.