AquaSplash founder seeks legal action against Gold Coast City Council

A Gold Coast man is seeking legal action against the Gold Coast City Council after he lost the tender to operate his inflatable water park attraction in Southport.

AquaSplash founder Matt Devine started the attraction at the Broadwater Parklands in 2013, with the inflatable course attracting more than 100,000 people over the summer season last year.

The company operated its attraction on an event permit for the first two years before entering a tender with council in 2015.


“We successfully bid to run the attraction for the past three seasons but have now been told our concept will be essentially gifted to another operator,” Mr Devine said.

The father of seven says he was “blindsided in late July when a business associate told him the owner of Gold Coast Wake Park had won the tender”.

“I contacted Council’s Procurement Office the next day seeking clarity, with a staff member later confirming via email that we had lost the tender,” he said.

AquaSplash’s legal representatives have since written to Council Chief Executive Dale Dickson challenging the awarding of the tender because it “did not implement the policies set out in the Council’s own Procurement Policy and Contract Manual”.

According to Mr Devine, AquaSplash was told that they had lost the tender on the basis of “local content” grounds because the business address was listed in Brisbane, despite their head office being based in Southport.

“Our team is devastated by the news. Having to inform many of them of the current situation has been heartbreaking,” Mr Devine confessed.

City of Gold Coast defended their decision.

“The City periodically runs a competitive process for the supply of an inflatable water park at Broadwater Parklands,” a City spokesperson said in a statement.

“The City recently sought interest for a future operator of an inflatable water park via an open competitive process.”

They said people can find out further information about the procurement process here.