I am not referring to the fat cats on the council, the budget surplus it may be aiming for, or even the bulk of the councillors themselves, but the apparent determination of the council policies to do everything that might discourage people’s efforts to exercise and keep healthy.
We all know about the City’s ‘initiative’ in the fight to be fatter than the rest ” charging people to exercise in the public parks in the city.
I’ve lived next to the Luita Street park for 28 years, and like everyone else in the area, paid rates to pay for the park’s upkeep.
I assumed I could also exercise there without paying an added fee to the City – wrong.
Because I and a group of similarly minded middle-aged and older people have taken it upon ourselves to pay a personal trainer to keep us motivated, happy and safe while we exercise, the City has decided to charge us, through fees to our trainer, up to $200 each, per year to use the park.
This is ostensibly a charge on the personal trainer, but this is a very small business with no option but to pass the costs on to us.
What is the City trying to achieve with these charges? Are our public parks simply for decoration, or are they meant to be used?
People who use the City’s roads are not billed more than those without a car; library users do not pay a premium.
Therefore, why are people who actually use the parks to exercise and improve their health being penalised by the City in this way?
At a time when levels of obesity, and the diabetes, cancer and heart disease that result from it, have never been higher, it is extraordinary that the City is penalising, rather than supporting and encouraging, people who want to exercise outdoors in public parks.
As one of the largest councils in Australia, why does the City need to raise revenue in such a counterproductive manner? Other councils allow people to use their parks without added fees, why not us?