Albury junior basketball fee delay a slam dunk for parents

A charge for junior basketballers has been put on hold. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON
A charge for junior basketballers has been put on hold. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

THE introduction of an upfront $100 charge for junior basketballers at Lauren Jackson Sports Centre is set to be delayed.

The move, which will be confirmed at Albury Council’s next meeting on June 23, follows a secret meeting between the council, Albury Basketball Association and clubs on Tuesday night hosted by an independent moderator.

The switch from the pay-as-you-go ticket system from July 1 was endorsed by the council in April.

But subsequent parental backlash and a 500-signature petition opposing the upfront charge has led to a re-think.

A report will be prepared for the June 16 community and cultural committee meeting with a recommendation on implementation of the revised system presented to the council meeting a week later.

With less than 10 days between the council meeting and the initial start date of July 1 it would be almost impossible to introduce the upfront court hire fee as originally planned.

The retention of the ticket system for the next season would result in a small increase on the $7.10 payment and retaining staff to collect money.

The move away from the ticket system could result in a saving of up to $34 per player and a $11,000 reduction in stadium operating costs.

Albury Basketball Association had hoped for a swift resolution.

But the council stuck to its original timelines as outlined last week.

Albury mayor Kevin Mack said the meeting was productive.

“While the association will have further meetings to investigate implementation methods, we’re looking forward to a report later this month that will outline the way forward,” he said.

Basketball association chairman and former stadium manager Paul Gooding said he was satisfied with the meeting.

“As an association we will continue to work with our member clubs to come up with solutions for implementation which will provide the most benefit for the players, parents, clubs and the association,” he said.

The switch to an upfront charge, which is already in place for senior basketballers, was discussed between the council and association at least twice last year.