Change to fees for sporting reserves

At the March council meeting officers tabled a new schedule of fees for the use of sporting reserves (both the buildings and playing fields). The rationale for the new schedule was that up to now the City has imposed inconsistent and ad-hoc fees, with some sporting clubs paying a lot more than others; and that it should apply a transparent and uniform charges to similar users.

Under the new system the City notionally collects around $25,000 less per year compared to the previous schedule of fees. However because this schedule was not universally applied, it's not clear whether the sporting clubs would actually be paying more or less. It's hard to imagine that officers would really seek to get significantly less fees. With this uncertainty it was impossible to make an informed judgement so I supported a motion by Councillor Dave Hume to defer the proposal. However this was lost 4-8.

I put an amendment to remove the non-refundable $83 booking fee which was passed unanimously. It was one thing to charge this fee to clubs to book in a whole season's events, but hardly fair to impose it on a non-profit community group who just want a place to meet for a couple of hours on an occasional basis. When not being used by sporting clubs the grounds and buildings are supposed to be available for hire by any community group which is now possible.

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