Council may delay fee at stadium

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ALBURY Council staff are recommending a delay on the introduction of an upfront charge for junior basketball and netball players at Lauren Jackson Sports Centre until early next year.

The recommendation will be tabled with the council’s community and cultural committee on Monday night.

The move, if adopted, will be a backdown from a decision made in April to dump the pay-as-you-go ticket system from July 1 and replace it with the upfront court-hire charge.

The status quo will remain for the July to December junior basketball and netball seasons before the upfront charge applies from January to June next year.

Staff are also recommending the casual wages budget at the stadium be increased by $5500 to cover the costs of continually collecting the game tickets.

The latest move follows a behind-closed-doors meeting between the council, Albury Basketball Association and clubs to thrash out a solution to the backlash from the April decision which sparked a 500-signature petition objecting to the change.

Junior netball wasn’t involved in the meeting last week on the basis it had accepted the change from tickets to an upfront charge.

But netball will also stick with the ticket system for the rest of the year.

Ticket prices will increase to $7.50 for basketball and $6.50 for netball.

The proposed court hire fees in the first half of next year are $37 for basketball and $49.50 for netball.

The staff report put together by community and recreation director James Jenkins said removing the game tickets for junior basketball and netball was first raised in 2009 and more recently had been further discussed and agreed upon by associations for both sports.

“Despite prior consultation with the affiliate clubs by the Albury Basketball Association, since the April council meeting several clubs have shown their discontent with the proposed changes to payment methods and subsequently presented a petition to council based on fairness and affordability,” he said.

“The association and its affiliate clubs, together with councillors and council staff have since carried out some further consultation with a view to addressing some of their issues.

“However, for the coming season an interim solution can be implemented where individual game tickets are sold for both junior basketball and netball to allow the associations and their affiliate clubs time to develop implementation strategies and sports centre management to assist.”

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