NSW Ombudsman

Help us Save Kool Katz Learn to Surf School In Ballina, Australia from closing.

On January 31, 2011, Ballina's most popular surf school - Kool Katz Learn to Surf - will be forced to close because it did not bid high enough in Ballina shire council's first ever tender process.

Kool Katz owner Terry Hannon has been operating surf schools incident and litigation-free for 20 years, 11 years in Ballina Shire. He has an impeccable safety record.

Kool Katz offers a world exclusive surfing guarantee: "Stand and ride a wave for 40 metres or your money back!'' and is an asset to local, if not national tourism.

Kool Katz submitted a compliant tender but was outbidded for 3 available licenses by 2 existing Ballina surf schools and one instructor without an established surf school.

Ballina' Council's RFT stated that council did not have to choose the most ''financially viable'' tender.

Kool Katz raised a litany of concerns regarding the tender process including a non-pecuniary conflict of interest. Ballina Council investigated these, but their investigations did not result in an overturning of the tender decision as we expected.

New evidence about an additional non-pecuniary conflict of interest is still pending investigation by the council.

However, we would like to see a new and independent investigation opened up by the NSW ombudsman.

Kool Katz is currently one of the 2 most active surf schools in Ballina shire, taking more clients than 2 of the 3 successful tendering surf schools put together.

Once Kool Katz closes, one surf school will be left as the major operator and one family whose only occupation has been running surf schools will be out of their livelihood.

Tourism in Ballina will also be detrimentally affected with the elimination of a locally supported budget surf school option.

NSW Ombudsman
Level 24
580 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Dear Sir,

We the undersigned request you re-open the investigation into Ballina shire's handling of the surf school tender process (RFT 523) and overturn the council's subsequent decision.

We are concerned that an injustice has been done and that as a result, an outstanding operator with unparalleled experience and local knowledge will be lost from the industry.

When Kool Katz owner, Mr Terry Hannon's licence expires on January 31, 2011 he will lose the only livelihood he knows, causing him and his family considerable grief and hardship.

Thank you for your consideration.

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The Save Kool Katz Surf School petition to NSW Ombudsman was written by savekoolkatz and is in the category Government at GoPetition.