Drowning in council fees

Coaches Tamara and Roger Bruce with Victoria Park Swimming Club president Lesley Arrowsmith... new pool hire fees could cripple the club’s membership. Picture: Matthew Poon www.communitypix.com.au d402330
Coaches Tamara and Roger Bruce with Victoria Park Swimming Club president Lesley Arrowsmith... new pool hire fees could cripple the club’s membership. Picture: Matthew Poon www.communitypix.com.au d402330

Ms Arrowsmith said the Town of Victoria Park was propopsing the club pay $5.10 an hour per lane, which would cost the club more than $15,000 a year on top of current membership fees, after a five year agreement that exempted the club from lane hire fees expired in June.

‘If we were there one day a week we could afford it, but every day, twice a day, we can’t,’ Ms Arrowsmith said.

Ms Arrowsmith said the club, one of the oldest professional swimming clubs in Perth, would not pay for lane hire because it did not have the funds to absorb the new fees.

Victoria Park chief executive Arthur Kyron said the five-year agreement to exclude fees was not renewed because it was not standard practice and was only in place to assist the club in rebuilding its membership after the closure of the centre for renovations.

‘All other users of the (Aqualife Centre) pay fees while the Victoria Park Swimming Club does not,’ Mr Kyron said.

‘To bring the club into line with other groups paying for the use of the facility, a lane hire rate was suggested with the view to commence charging for the use of the facility from July 1, 2013.’

Swan MHR Steve Irons said the club approached him for help after doing everything to resolve the issue with council over the past 12 months.

‘These fees could threaten the operations of this historic swimming club and we will try to support them,’ he said.

‘The club has already decided to move its annual carnival to Claremont from next season after Aqualife imposed new fees on pool hire, initially refusing to allow the club to run a fundraising sausage sizzle at the event on the grounds it would be in direct competition to their own cafe.’

‘The club has a proud history with state, national champions and international coach, and we must see it continue.’