Clubs don’t rate City cash grab

Mounts Bay Sailing Club commodore Russell Stephenson.
Mounts Bay Sailing Club commodore Russell Stephenson.

At last month’s council meeting, the City voted to charge Mounts Bay Sailing Club, which has 250 members, and the Royal Perth Yacht Club, which has about 2500 members, rates.

The decision followed a budget audit that revealed other councils were charging sailing clubs across Perth.

Mounts Bay Sailing Club commodore Russell Stephenson told the Western Suburbs Weekly the move would require major restructures.

‘(The council) is probably correct that it has the right to make this decision,’ he said.

‘But just because they have the right, doesn’t mean they have to, particularly when they’re not providing anything as a result. Where else do you pay for something and get nothing?’

In his submission to council, Mr Stephenson said the club already paid more than $27,000 to their landlords each year, which was mostly covered by club memberships.

The club also pays for their own rubbish collection and receives no services from the City.

Mr Stephenson said the club would ultimately have to look at increasing membership costs by about $50 to cover the rates increase.

‘It’s for nothing, there are no services which will be added,’ he said.

‘That’s the worst part.’

At the meeting, council decided to stagger the introduction of rates for the clubs.

By 2016, they will pay the rates in full.

Mayor Heather Henderson said the City made the decision based on the annual audit that recommended they charge rates to the club to bring them in line with other councils.

‘I think what the City has offered them is very generous, so that they don’t suddenly find themselves unbudgeted for an amount they didn’t know was coming,’ Mrs Henderson said.