Home > F.C.A.T.A. Blog Page, Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Association > F.C.A.T.A. Update – 24th Aug 2011

F.C.A.T.A. Update – 24th Aug 2011

August 24, 2011
FCATA
F.C.A.T.A. Update – 24th Aug 2011
FCATA LogoThe Fraser Coast Regional Council (FCRC) at their 15th Ordinary Meeting held 17th Aug 2011 – voted to introduce 50% reductions on season admission prices for rehabilitation entry fees.

Prior to this council vote – and previous to the April ’11 vote to amend concession card holders entry fees – the cost for entry on season tickets for all pensioners and disabled was the same as the public entry cost.  In April ’11 – Council decreased concession season tickets by 27% and 30% for half and full year entry.

The rehabilitation entry was not dealt with during this realignment of pool entry fees –  this oversight was again bought to Council’s attention in May ’11 and this new resolution to introduce 50% reduced season tickets for rehabilitation entry was introduced as follows at the FCRC Aug 17th meeting:

ITEM NO: ORD 11.3 – FRASER COAST REGIONAL COUNCIL – ORDINARY MEETING NO. 15  – WEDNESDAY 17 AUGUST 2011
SUBJECT: HERVEY BAY AQUATIC CENTRE
DIRECTORATE: Community & Development
RESPONSIBLE OFFICER: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, Lisa Desmond
AUTHOR: EM COMMUNITY & CULTURE, Debra Moore
DOC NO: #2051965 LINK TO CORPORATE / OPERATIONAL PLAN: 3.3.2, 3.2.1 & 3.2.3

1. PURPOSE

To provide an update for Council on fee structure and infrastructure changes to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre.

2. BACKGROUND & PREVIOUS COUNCIL CONSIDERATION

Since July 2010 there have been a number of significant changes to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre in relation to the fees and charges and infrastructure changes. There are also grants in progress for further improvements. Some of the upgrades and fee re-structure has been in direct response from members of the community seeking changes, while others have been identified through forward planning and maintenance scheduling.

Infrastructure changes have included:

  • Construction of a Life Guard Station and the refurbishment of the amenities as a result of forward planning;
  • Grant application approved to install a new lifting device for access to the covered heated pool and for a new replacement wheelchair, identified through general maintenance of existing equipment;
  • Heaters to the 25m outside pool have recently been replaced as a result of the previous heaters being at the end of their useful life; and
  • A grant application submitted to the Department of Sport & Recreation for a roof over the 25m outdoor pool after negotiations with a major user of the complex.

In a separate report to Council in April (Ordinary Meeting No. 7) concession passes were introduced for half yearly and seasonal passes in response to a community enquiry.

The approved fees and charges for 2011/2012 made changes to the daily rates and the 20 entry pass to include pensioner and concession rates and also a further discount for those on a rehabilitation program with authority from their medical doctor. This is as a response to improving business practices and in response to community representations to Council. Council has signed up with Disability Services Queensland for the Companion Card so that holders are able to have their carer or support worker receive free entry. This was from a direct request from a community member with a Companion Card. To provide further consistency to our current rates and charges it is proposed to seek approval for a 20 entry pass and season passes for those on rehabilitation with a letter from their medical doctor.

3. PROPOSAL

Council has been approached regarding the consistency of concessions for single entry and pass entry fees.

Adult Child Pensioner Concession Certified Rehabilitation*
Single Entry $3.70 $2.90 $2.90 $1.95
20 entry Pass $61.00 $49.00 $49.00 N/A
Half Year Pass $164.00 $115.00 $115.00 N/A
Full Year Pass $293.00 $211.00 $211.00 N/A

Note: 2010/11 a total of 1,104 rehabilitation single entry fees occurred.

*Holder of Disability Pension Card or Health Care Card – for rehabilitation purposes must provide letter from Medical Doctor certifying that aquatic activity is a requirement of rehabilitation. To ensure consistency with the concessions offered on single entry and passes for certified rehabilitation purposes with other pension concessions it is proposed to amended the fees and charges to include the follow:

Adult Child Pensioner Concession Certified Rehabilitation* (New Proposed)
Single Entry $3.70 $2.90 $2.90 $1.95
20 entry Pass $61.00 $49.00 $49.00 $33.00
Half Year Pass $164.00 $115.00 $115.00 $77.00
Full Year Pass $293.00 $211.00 $211.00 $142.00

This provides concessions for certified rehabilitation purposes of up to 50% on a standard adult entry free. To provide clarity for the Certified Rehabilitation it is proposed to amend the wording on the schedule to read: Certified Rehabilitation (see Note 1 below) which reads ¡§Must provide letter from Medical Doctor certifying that aquatic activity is a requirement of rehabilitation.

Further, in response to a request from the Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Association for details on availability and access hours, Council has advised the Association that unrestricted access is available to all users (outside of the Learn to Swim School classes) during the hours of 11am – 3pm Monday to Friday, 12 – 4pm on Saturdays and 10am – 4pm on Sundays for use of the indoor heated pool and anytime during normal opening hours for use of the 25m outdoor heated pool and the 50m pool.

4. CONSULTATION

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Manager Aquatic Centre
  • Community Members

5. CONCLUSION

These initiatives have and will improve accessibility to the aquatic centre as an important rehabilitation and recreational facility.

OFFICERS RECOMMENDATION

That Council:

  • Receives and note the report; and
  • Amends the fees and charges to include a 20 entry pass, half yearly and all year season pass for those requiring rehabilitation with a letter from their Medical Doctor as follows:
  • 20 entry pass – $33.00
  • Half year – $77.00 (Summer 1 Oct to 31 March/Winter 1 April to 30 September)
  • All year – $142.00 (1 October onwards)

ATTACHMENTS:
NIL

This resolution was voted and and the following minute is recorded in the 17th Aug Minutes.

[These minutes can be viewed on-line using the following link: http://www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au/web/guest/2011-ordinary-meetings]

ORD 11 OFFICERS REPORTS
ORD 11.3  – Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre
RESOLUTION ( Dalgleish / MucKan )

That Council:
1. Receives and note the report; and
2. Amends the fees and charges to include a 20 entry pass, half yearly and all year season pass for those requiring rehabilitation with a letter from their Medical Doctor as follows:

  • 20 entry pass – $33.00
  • Half year – $77.00 (Summer 1 Oct to 31 March/Winter 1 April to 30 September)
  • All year – $142.00 (1 October onwards)

Carried Unanimously
Ord 15/747/08/11

As the instigator of the Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Assoc (FCATA) – I attended the 17th Aug Council meeting and addressed the meeting during the Public Participation forum – the minutes of the 17th Aug FCRC meeting recorded this as follows:

ORD 7 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
ORD 7.4 Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre
Ian Bleys, 43 Wide Bay Drive, Eli Waters
Mr Bleys addressed Council on his support for the action being taken at the meeting to reduce admission fees at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre. He said that this region had approximately 5,500 disability pensioners and believed it to be the highest in Queensland. He sought Council’s support to use the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre for aqua therapy sessions to help people with disabilities improve their quality of life.

This address was hoped to incite some interest among the Councillors who have shown no interest in this matter since it was first raised two and a half years ago. The motion approved above only addresses what was put before Council in MAr 2009 – it only brings this Council region into line with what other Regional Councils had offered their constituents for many years.

Council have no right to feel proud on this issue – they lag behind all the Councils – and for almost 12 months now the FCATA has been trying to engage the Council on matters relating to improvements to the pool facilities for disabled patrons, for recognition of the FCATA in that they are trying to provide a means in which members of FCATA can involve themselves with a self-help aqua therapy program to improve the quality of their lives.

This council, and in particular the CEO Ms Desmond – have given undertakings to address some of the FCATA issues – since May – very little has been achieved and Council believe that the motion passed 17th Aug – addresses the FCATA matters raised.

If not for Ms Desmond’s involvement since she became CEO – none of what has happened to date – i.e. concession season price reductions – would have occurred. The Mayor (Mr Kruger) was against the proposal from the start – and of the 11 Councillors only Cr’s Brooks, Hawes, Hovard have responded to any of the ‘read receipt’ requests requested on e-mails sent to All-Councillors.

A point to note is that in the 17th Aug meeting the Hervey Bay Aquatic Pool was isolated and the fee restructure does not apply to the Maryborough Pool. This was bought to the attention to the Council during my public address yet in the minutes of that address – it indicates that my cause was for Hervey Bay residents only – this was not so – Cr Brooks made a comment as follows when we corresponded on this issue before the Council meeting.

” … The Maryborough Swimming Pool is leased and not under the same mechanism of direct control than the Bay pool is.  I thought you would have known that by now…’

I responded to Cr Brooks telling her that all Maryborough Pool’s previous concessions were the same as the Hervey Bay pool – and asked why should this concession be any different.  She has not responded to this question since.

I continue to believe that most of the Council members have no real interest in FCATA and what benefits it can offer and provide to Fraser Coast residents seeking aqua therapy rehabilitation.

Over the next few weeks/months I intend to go to more Council meetings to raise the profile of the FCATA requests directly to Council in a public way. The matters already talked about with Ms Desmond and her undertakings will be pursued during this forum. The lack of Councillor involvement will also be highlighted – particularly when some $300,000 in grant money was handed over to the Hervey Bay Tennis Club on the back of efforts by members of Council. This was for recreational activities and surely similar support should be available for rehabilitation services.

The Tennis Club has a membership appeal of a few thousand – and the disabled and elderly has a FCRC base in excess of 20,000. Council have to be made to recognise the benefits that will be available to so many of the Fraser Coast region via the FCATA when Council decide to get behind the program.

As with any battle – front line troops are needed.  Single handed battles against a Council rarely have a victory – in this instance a two and half year battle has been won –  and only because Ms Desmond had the pluck once she became CEO to take and make a case for Council to reconsider their position.   Other Councillors and Council staff have not been so interested in promoting the FCATA – and to continue this fight more troops are needed.

Please use this link to make contact if you want to be involved in this continuing FCATA battle:

E-Mail:  fcata@bigpond.com   –  Ph: 07 41941081

Lets continue the battle.

________________________________________

FCATA Web Master …

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