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C.C: All Council Members, Fraser Coast Regional Council. Subject: Hervey Bay Pool Season Ticket Prices for Concession card holders.

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19 th Sept 2010: To: The Mayor, Fraser Coast Regional Council. C.C: All Council Members, Fraser Coast Regional Council. Subject: Hervey Bay Pool Season Ticket Prices for Concession card holders. History:
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19 th Sept 2010: To: The Mayor, Fraser Coast Regional Council. C.C: All Council Members, Fraser Coast Regional Council. Subject: Hervey Bay Pool Season Ticket Prices for Concession card holders. History: I first raised this issue with Council in March The matter was reviewed by Council staff at that time and dismissed out of hand. I then asked what more could be done and I was referred to Councillor MucKan. I left several messages for Councillor MucKan which he did not return. I again raised the matter with Councillor MucKan in April this year. This culminated in a series of exchanges that resulted in Councillor MucKan recommending that a report be prepared for Council. This happened at the 28 th July 2010 Council meeting: 11 1 P a g e Minutes of the FCRC Ordinary Meeting No. 12 held on Wednesday 28 July 2010 Page # ORD 14 GENERAL BUSINESS ORD 14.6 Aquatic Centre Disability Pension Holder Concession Councillor MucKan said that he had received approaches from members of the community enquiring as to why Council did not have a discounted seasonal ticket to the Aquatic Centre for disability pension holders, and he requested a report be presented to Council regarding this matter and possible implications. The meeting was advised that at the present time only people undertaking a rehabilitation program received a discount. RESOLUTION ( MucKan / Harris ) That a report be brought to Council outlining the budget implications of implementing a concession seasonal pass at the Aquatic Centre for people with a disability pension. Carried Unanimously Ord 12/241/07/10 Please note the charter of the report as highlighted. In an sent to me on the 15 th July 2010 by Councillor MucKan he stated, (as copied from the in question): From: Les Muc Kan Sent: Thursday, 15 July :03 PM To: Subject: RE: Swimming Pool Hi Ian, Following up on your concerns and speaking with one of our Executive Manager today, (which has now replaced Andy Gaze with his position)! It was deceided that I take your concerns to the next Ordinary Council Meeting, and raising it in General Business. The Motion will be: At several times I have been approached by a member of the community who asked why the Council does not have discounted season tickets for people with a disability pension. I would like council staff to investigate the possibility of introducing such a discount and its effect on the budgeting for the swimming pools. Could a report be prepared and brought back to be presented to Council Hopefully, with this and the support of the other councillors we can ask the Officers or staffs members of the Council to prepare and bring back a report that outlines the benefits and costs of introducing a pensioner discount on a season ticket. Once this report has been prepared it will be presented to Council for discussion. I will keep you posted on its progress, if that s ok with you! Is this ok with you and/or is there anything else you'd like to see in this area to come back in this report, that we (council) can discuss??? Regards, Your Friendly Neighbourhood Councillor Les MucKan At the Community & Development Committee Meeting held on the 25 th Aug 2010 the following motion is recorded: Minutes of Community & Development Committee Meeting No 4 held on Wednesday, 25 August, 2010 Page 4 # Councillors in attendance: Councillor Hovard, Councillor Arthur, Councillor McNeven, Councillor Brooks, Councillor MucKan, Councillor Dalgleish, Councillor Nioa, Councillor Kruger, Councillor Hawes, Councillor O Connell, Councillor Harris C&D 6 OFFICERS REPORTS COMMUNITY & CULTURE C&D 6.3 Fees at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre RECOMMENDATION ( Brooks / Nioa ) That the Council recommend that the enquirer be advised that the current Fees and Charges offer a substantially discounted fee for regular users. Carried Unanimously C&D 4/64/08/10 2 P a g e The Council Report: The motion authorising the report had as its charter as follows: That a report be brought to Council outlining the budget implications of implementing a concession seasonal pass at the Aquatic Centre for people with a disability pension. When the report as presented hereto is read, and I am assured by Mr Gaze that the report as presented in the minutes of the FCRC Community Development Committee meeting on the 25 th Aug 2010, is an exact copy of the report that was compiled by Mr Jeff Jenkins, the budget implications that were to be the focus of the report are not even mentioned. There are: 1. No comparisons of any budgetary content, 2. No summary of current disability users and their discount implications, 3. No pool usage relating to carer or disability users, 4. Definitely no information presented to Council that give it any information as to what cost would be incurred if a Disability concession was offered on season tickets. This report does not go near any of the charter that was requested at the Council meeting. It was a complete waste of Council time, resources and effort. Every member of the public could look up the information presented in this report if they cared to do so. As a report that Council used to make their decision and acted upon, it says so much about the general interest the elected members of my Council have in this matter. For your information, the actual report that was sent to Council is pasted below: ITEM NO: C&D 6.3 FRASER COAST REGIONAL COUNCIL COMMUNITY & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING NO. 4 WEDNESDAY 25 AUGUST, 2010 SUBJECT: FEES AT THE HERVEY BAY AQUATIC CENTRE DIRECTORATE: COMMUNITY & DEVELOPMENT RESPONSIBLE OFFICER: DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY & DEVELOPMENT, Peter Smith AUTHOR: EXECUTIVE MANAGER, COMMUNITY & CULTURE, Jeff Jenkins DOC NO: # LINK TO CORPORATE / OPERATIONAL PLAN: 1. PURPOSE 3 P a g e The purpose of this report is to seek Council s direction on discounts to fees for holders of Pension Cards, Seniors Cards and other bona fide discount cards at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre. 2. BACKGROUND & PREVIOUS COUNCIL CONSIDERATION Following a recent enquiry regarding Council s position on concessions for pensioners, especially season tickets for disability pensioners, Cr Muckan requested that a report be prepared for Councils consideration. The request is for Council to provide discounted seasons tickets for disability pensioners. The fees and charges that are focussed on are the Daily Discount Rate and the Half Year and All Year season ticket charges. Taken from the 2010/11 Fees and Charges Schedule these are: Daily: Holder of a Disability Pension Card or Health Care Card - $1.85 Season Pass: Half Yearly (Adult) - $164; All Year (Adult) - $ The following example was provided by the enquirer: 200 visits a year (average 4 times a week) using the daily entrance discount costs 200 $1.85= $370. The normal cost would be $740. A season ticket for a full year costs the public: $293. A season ticket for a Concession/Pensioner card holder is also: $ AUGUST, 2010 On the 24th of May 2010 the Executive Manager Environmental Health and Regulation corresponded with the enquirer outlining Council s fees and charges schedule pertaining to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre and stating, in part, that the pricing structure provides a fair and equitable service to the multitude of different user groups that use the pool while allowing the pool to operate and be maintained at an affordable level for the community as a whole. In addition a comparison with other nearby Councils Fees and Charges shows the following: Council Pension Discount Price Half Yearly Season Ticket Yearly Ticket Season Fraser Coast Regional Council $1.85 per entry $ $ Gympie Regional Council (War Memorial Pool) No Discount Adult $3.00 N/A $ P a g e Gladstone Regional Council No Discount Adult $4.60 No Season Tickets Multi Passes in packs of 20 = 10% Discount off Adult Price Rockhampton Regional Council (Sth. Rockhampton Pool) $2.10 per entry No Half yearly Pass $99.75 (Closed for five months of the year) Bundaberg Regional Council (Anzac Park) $2.00 per entry N/A $ There appears to be no consistency in the setting of fees and charges and those that apply a discount do so only on single admissions. The opening period affects the cost of a season ticket and those that do provide a season ticket do not provide a discounted ticket. 3. PROPOSAL The complaint focuses on the non-provision of a discount fee for a Season Ticket but if we use the above example of 200 visits a year we find there is a saving of $447 if a season ticket is purchased. The proposal is that Council acknowledge the concern raised but reiterate that the season ticket provides a 61% saving. 4. FINANCIAL & RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS Further discounts to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre fees and charges are not budgeted for. 5. POLICY & LEGAL IMPLICATIONS In accordance with current Council policies. 6. CRITICAL DATES & IMPLEMENTATION Any changes to the Schedule of Fees and Charges would require a report to Council. 25 AUGUST, CONSULTATION The following people and Council websites have been consulted: Cr Les Muckan 5 P a g e 6 P a g e Executive Manager Environmental Health and Regulations Andy Gaze Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre Manager Paul Jones Gladstone Regional Council Fees and Charges Rockhampton Regional Council Fees and Charges Gympie Regional Council Fees and Charges Bundaberg Regional Council Fees and Charges 8. CONCLUSION That Council advise the enquirer that the current Fees and Charges Schedule provides for access to a discounted fee. 9. OFFICER S RECOMMENDATION That the Council recommend that the enquirer be advised that the current Fees and Charges offer a substantially discounted fee for regular users. ATTACHMENTS: NIL The following are additional observations concerning the report presented to Council: 1. At no time did the author contact me to discuss the issues I had and were raising. 2. At no time did the author of the report speak with other regional pools to discuss their policies. He extracted the information from their websites. 3. At no time did the author approach or seek legal opinion over the discriminatory policy of offering discounts to concession card holders on a daily entry basis, but not on a season ticket basis. 4. There was no research undertaken to ascertain what new usage might be expected from Fraser Coast Community services with a reduction in season ticket prices. 5. No contact was made with any disability advocacy group to ask or enquire to what is required to be done to comply with the State Disability Act, or what could be done to assist those with mobility issues wanting to use the pool on a regular basis. 6. Nobody from Council bothered to contact me after the decision had been made to advise the Council decision as decreed. 8. CONCLUSION That Council advise the enquirer that the current Fees and Charges Schedule provides for access to a discounted fee. 7. I discovered that the decision had already been made after I sent Cr Books an asking her at what stage the Council was in reviewing my submission. hereto: Her response is pasted From: Sue Brooks Sent: Monday, 13 September :55 PM To: Cc: Les Muc Kan; Andy Gaze Subject: Re: Swimming Pool discount for season tickets for concession card holders... Hi Ian. The report has gone to Council recommending no change to pricing and this was agreed to by Council. I'm currently on leave for my son's wedding in China so I trust Cr Muckan can organise a copy of the report for you. Cheers. Sue Councillor Sue Brooks Environment portfolio Reference Resources: To have only used fellow Council staff, Jones, Gaze and MucKan as the resource reference persons in this report, does not make it independent in any way. Mr Jones, the pool Manager, is on record as saying that he: does not think any person should get a discount on pool entry. Mr MucKan s interest is only peripheral and not personal, and Mr Gaze is a promoter of current Council policy and declared to me when we first spoke as recorded in the FCRC minutes: On the 24th of May 2010 the Executive Manager Environmental Health and Regulation corresponded with the enquirer outlining Council s fees and charges schedule pertaining to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre and stating, in part, that the pricing structure provides a fair and equitable service to the multitude of different user groups that use the pool while allowing the pool to operate and be maintained at an affordable level for the community as a whole. His interest is in complying with Council policy. The author of the report no longer works for Council so I have no opportunity to ask what research he did do. For all that I know, he wrote this report in an hour to satisfy a Council policy and to dismiss my submission. Mr MucKan s lack of interest was very obvious from the first instance. In a period of 18 months he never took the time to knock on my door to find out what my issue really was. This is despite him saying in a recent Council minute: 7 P a g e Minutes of the FCRC Ordinary Meeting No. 15 held on Wednesday 8 September 2010 Page 10 ORD 15 GENERAL BUSINESS ORD 15.7 Return of Council Vehicle Councillor MucKan said that if people were wondering why he was walking around was because he had given his vehicle back to Council. He said he wanted to get out and walk around and see our city first-hand. He said that for those living on the outskirts of town it was a long way but if people offered him a cup of tea and lunch he would be happy to visit the outlying areas. His interest in getting to understand the issues I have tried to raise were not something he though important enough to visit me. Doctors Certificate: As recorded in the 28 th July minutes: Councillor MucKan said that he had received approaches from members of the community enquiring as to why Council did not have a discounted seasonal ticket to the Aquatic Centre for disability pension holders, and he requested a report be presented to Council regarding this matter and possible implications. The meeting was advised that at the present time only people undertaking a rehabilitation program received a discount. There was no mention in the report that your concession discount policy is only granted to those undertaking a rehabilitation program as provided by a current Doctors certificate. Yet this is stated as being the Council policy. I asked in my submission why this is so for genuine concession card holders. This question was not even addressed by the Report. The FCRC policy on this issue is discriminatory, and disadvantages concession card holders. The Legal issue on this policy is also questionable and the report summation on this issue is: 8 P a g e 5. POLICY & LEGAL IMPLICATIONS In accordance with current Council policies. What are Council s current policies on Disability matters? Pool Comparisons: As regards to other Regional Pool data content contained within the report, the information presented is misleading on so many levels: 1. Gladstone City Council offer 10 hours of free pool time to a Community based organisation called Gladstone Aqua Therapy Association (GATA), who provide a bus pickup and return for members. This information is readily available if the report author had of bothered to contact Gladstone Pool as opposed to extracting information from an on-line web site. 2. Sunshine Coast Council pools all offer season ticket discounts for concession card holders of 25% on daily and similar discounts for season prices. 3. Bundaberg Council pools are leased and the Lessor s have discretion to offer whatever discounts they want for disability and other concessions card holders. 4. Rockhampton Council pools are council Managed and their discounts for daily entrance are 25% and similar for season tickets. 5. In the report, there was no comparison given for the daily entrance fees for concession and general public. This gave the Councillors no opportunity to make any real comparisons. I have extracted a more detailed Regional pool pricing schedule that provides more detailed information hereto: Daily Admission Half Year Season: Yearly Season Price: Council Region: Pool: Adult: Concession: Adult: Concession: Adult: Concession: Bundaberg: *Anzac Park: $3.00 $2.00 $160 discretionary Open 7-8 months *Isis: $1.50 $1.00 $230 $90 Open 7-8 months *Norville Park: $3.00 $2.00 n/a discretionary Open 7-8 months *Gin Gin: $2.40 discretionary $120 discretionary Open 7-8 months *Pools leased. Lessor has discretionary price structures for Concession/Disability by private arrangement. Fraser Coast: Hervey Bay: $3.70 $1.85 $164 None $293 None Maryborough: $3.20 $1.60 $160 None $290 None Sunshine Coast: Cotton Tree: $4.60 $3.80 $239 $191 $419 $335 Nambour: $4.60 $3.80 $239 $191 $419 $335 Coolum: $4.20 $3.80 $218 $175 $382 $306 Noosa: $4.90 $3.80 $239 $191 $419 $335 Kawana: $4.60 $3.80 $239 $191 $419 $335 Caloundra: $4.60 $3.80 $239 $191 $419 $335 Beerwah: $4.20 $3.55 $218 $175 $382 $306 Buderim: $4.20 $3.55 $218 $175 $382 $306 Palmwoods: $4.20 $3.55 $218 $175 $382 $306 Eumundi: $4.20 $3.55 $218 $175 $382 $306 Coolum-Peregian: $4.20 $3.55 $218 $175 $382 $306 Tewantin: $3.60 $3.00 $187 $150 $328 $262 Mooloolah: $3.60 $3.00 $187 $150 $328 $262 9 P a g e Gladstone: Calliope: $3.30 n/a n/a n/a Open 7-8 months *Gladstone: $4.60 n/a n/a n/a *Council provide 10hrs a week free to GATA: (Gladstone Aqua Therapy Assoc) for members who pay a Special rate of $2.70 to Assoc. Bus provides pick up to and from pool. Rockhampton: Mt Morgan: $3.70 $2.10 $100 n/a Open 7-8 months Rockhampton Sth: $4.20 $3.20 $100 n/a Open 7-8 months Marlborough: $3.70 $2.10 $100 n/a Open 7-8 months Gracemere: $4.00 $2.50 $280 $180 Open 7-8 months Yeppoon (Heated): $4.50 $4.50 No Season tickets issues when spoke to pool. *Yeppoon(Olympic): $3.50 $3.00 n/a n/a Open 7-8 months Rockhampton Nth: $4.50 $3.50 $160 $125 Open 7-8 months *Only offers a discounted 20 Pass entry, no concessions. Morten Bay Deception Bay: $3.90 $3.30 $259 $229 Open 7-8 months Caboolture: $4.80 $4.00 $309 $279 Open 7-8 months Bribie Island: $4.40 $3.40 $263 $243 $388 $357 Woodford: $3.30 $2.70 Open 7-8 months Redcliffe: $4.00 $3.00 Only offer a 30 pass card at discounted price. *Albany Creek: $4.20 $3.20 $199 $149 $320 $235 *Dayboro: $4.20 $3.20 $199 $149 $320 $235 *Ferny Hills: $4.20 $3.20 $199 $149 $320 $235 *Lawnton: $4.20 $3.20 $199 $149 $320 $235 *Murrumba: $4.20 $3.20 $199 $149 $320 $235 *Pathways: $4.20 $3.20 $199 $149 $320 $235 *Pools Managed by Belgravia Leisure Group. All pools also offer 30 pass/6m/12m where heated available. A number of pool management/staff when asked about admission prices for normal and discounted season tickets for concession/disability card holders, offered that their policy is as it is because no one had asked, or bought the matter to the attention of Council, or the pool operator. As can also be seen from the data presented hereto, the Council Report submitted was completely misrepresentative of the facts, and as such the Council members ought to be chastened for their trust in their staff in producing such a one-eyed and inaccurate report. The fact that all FCRC Councillors voted on this matter based on the content of this internally produce report, with no independent authority consulted before it was presented to Council, makes it a big issue when it comes to the Council s creditability and accountability. I trust that with the information presented here, you might like to review your own report information and take this issue a little more seriously. 10 P a g e Other Factors: There are also a number of other factors missing that were suggested but never factored into the report summation. These had been discussed at some length with Mr MucKan and Mr Gaze prior to Mr MucKan s motion. These included: 1. A survey of all local retirement and carer facilities to ask whether a reduction in season ticket prices would encourage more usage among these aged care, and disadvantaged cared groups. 2. Any numbers that costed or reflected a healthier and more active community who were encouraged t
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