Swim clubs' fees on hold for report

Proposed pool fees are on hold. Sim Club Emerton officials are hopeful of reaching a positive outcome for its members. Picture: Geoff Jones

Proposed pool fees are on hold. Sim Club Emerton officials are hopeful of reaching a positive outcome for its members. Picture: Geoff Jones

BLACKTOWN City swim clubs will find out in five weeks how the pool fee restructure will affect them.

The council is consulting with clubs about the proposal, which will see the same fees at all aquatic centres across the local government area.

Several clubs, including Rooty Hill and Riverstone Dolphins RSL Youth swim clubs, have publicly expressed fears about declining membership and lack of consultation.

Both clubs use unheated outdoor facilities.

Labor councillors presented a motion at last week's meeting for fees for swim clubs and schools to revert back to 2013-14 fees plus CPI.

"There are differential charges on just about everything we buy, depending on the quality," Cr Alan Pendleton said.

He argued the need for affordable sport in the growing childhood obesity epidemic, which had Liberals shaking their heads.

"There are hundreds of sporting clubs in Blacktown which we're not subsiding to the extent of swim clubs," Cr Jacqueline Donaldson said.

"You need to get off the obesity bandwagon because not everyone swims. It's not fair to subside swim clubs and not other sports."

Councillors were advised the report on differential fees is being prepared for the September 24 policy meeting, which means a decision would be made October 8.

Any rise in swim club fees have been been put on hold until then. Labor's motion was lost.

"Let's wait a few weeks for the report," independent Russ Dickens said.

"But I'm all in favour of giving swimmers a fair go."

Liberal Walter Smith ensured a result will be achieved to satisfy everyone, including the Riverstone Dolphins, which faces a 455 per cent increase in pool hire fees.

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