|F.C.A.T.A. Update – 23rd Sept 2011 …|
|This months update is more of the same I’m afraid. To try and lift the profile of the FCATA in a direct way with Councillors and try to have them engage – I attended the Maryborough Council meeting on the 17th Aug and again attended the Hervey Bay Meeting on the 7th Sept. The Council Minutes reflect the address I gave during the public participation as follows:
These minutes are but a fraction of what was said and don’t fully reflect what I was trying to say in both my address’ – I don’t know who vets these minutes but they do a very poor job on accuracy and content.
After the 17th Aug Meeting I received a visit from Councillor Hawes – no other Councillor of Council staff made contact. Ms Hawes is a genuine soul and she does have some appreciation for the intent of the program. I appreciate her support.
In pursuing the Council I sent Ms Desmond the following e-mail message on the 29th Aug as a followup to the Council address -
Ms Desmond has neither acknowledged this message or responded in any way. I n fact that was one of the reasons I went to the 7th Sept meeting to front Ms Desmond and directly ask her why she has not responded. That was also ignored in the time since passed.
In the two weeks since that meetiing – her non response was further engaged when sent her another e-mail message on the 20th Sept – to follow up a similar message I sent her on the 29th Aug. The latest message is pasted below -
… and to this message there still has been no response from Ms Desmond or any of her staff that she might have staffed this out to.
However – I did received two responses from Councillors Brooks and Hovard thanking me for the CC message.
There is not a lot I can say – yet when I read the Independents articles on Ms Desmond’s two weeks ago and what a the opinion about what a wonderful asset she seems to be – I scratch my head and ask – can all that was written be true … then why has she not bothered to engage on such an important issue that has the potential to improve the quality of life for 25% of the FCRC residents?
I would like to write an article about this Council and really let loose on their actual awareness and lack of understanding on what the FCATA is trying to achieve.
Councillor Brooks came back the same day with a response:
There were a few back and forth messages that followed and never achieved anything – in the end Cr Brooks has her head buried somewhere and just does not want to get involved on this issue other than she thinks the FCATA wants something for nothing.
In the last nine months every Councillor has been sent every bit of information about the FCATA and its agenda. If they had of bothered to read any of the detail they would know and understand what this program is about and is trying to achieve. Having now addressed the FCRC Councillors twice – and awaited their response – I was hoping my appeals to the FCRC may have provoked more enquiry and interest … but no – their level of perceived interest is still zero.
Scott Rowe from the Independent ran a story a few weeks ago and that also drew no response from Council. He indicated that when they were asked for a response comment – the answer was ‘no comment’.
Ms Desmond said she would advertise the new concession admission pool prices passed in May in their electronic Newsletter – that has not happened either.
The Disability and pensioner demographic do not have a real voice in this region. Sheila King does wonderful work for her ‘Australia for all’ advocacy group – and there are more than 50 other advocacy and charity carer organisations in the region – but in summary – they all fear speaking out or becoming advocates for a better deal and risking their existing and future funding grants.
Please use this link to make contact with FCATA if you want to be involved in this continuing battle to get an aqua-therapy program up and running. E-Mail: email@example.com – Ph: 07 41941081.
All I can offer is that whilst I remain healthy I will keep putting this issue in front of Council and other avenues available.
Lets continue the battle.
FCATA Web Master …
|F.C.A.T.A. Update – 24th Aug 2011|
|The 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:
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]
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:
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org – Ph: 07 41941081
Lets continue the battle.
FCATA Web Master …
|F.C.A.T.A. Update – 20th July 2011|
|Hello to all FCATA interest participants. It has been some time since I updated this page and I hope that after reading this update – you will understand why.The last update – [5th May 2011] – spoke of some optimism over the progress of the FCATA – this update bears some news that has wetted down that optimism. In developments over the last week – the FCRCCEO – Lisa Desmond – has joined the Councillor throng and put everything the FCATA stands for in the too hard basket.After the 5th May update a submission was formulated in line with the CEO’s request and sent on the 19th May – Ms Desmond acknowledged receipt of this message and the Submission on the 23rd May.
This submission can be read in full using this PDF link.
As part of that submission and the good-will being felt from the CEO’s conversation – it was advised to the CEO that she could run with the submission for two months or so without interference. The intent was to give her a free reign with the content to see what she could achieve. That period has elapsed and I followed up with her on the 13th July with a lengthy conversation. I had been leaving messages from mid-June which all went un-returned.
The CEO I spoke to in the 13th July was not the same enthusiastic supporter of the FCATA program she was two months earlier. In fact – throughout the conversation that lasted the best part of 90min – she gave every indication that she had done absolutely nothing with the submission sent 2 months earlier. She stated that she had read the submission on a plane trip somewhere – she was in Canberra mid June and was then on leave after that until early July. Her return to work date was the 4th July – and I gave her a few days or so to return my messages – she did not contact me.
I phoned her office again after I read the Independent story published on the 7th July ’11. They also went un-returned. I again followed up with another call on the 13th July and Ms Desmond took my call – as stated we spoke at length about what progress had been made subsequent to her receipt of the 19th May submission and it became clear that she had nothing to offer. Not a single thing had been advanced. I broached the matter of the “Independent” story – and how the Mayor appeared to be out there claiming credit for everything he had opposed with regard to what the FCATA was trying to achieve.
The story in the ‘Independent’ newspaper was published on the 7th July 2011 under the heading – “Swimmers warm up with new pool heaters” – that story appears as an image file below:
This story inflamed an already hot issue – The FCRC Mayor is a putz to try and take credit for any advancement on pool admission concessions that he reneged on in Sept 2010 – and continued to do so from that point onwards -
It was not until Ms Desmond became the CEO officially that she took a motion to council to have the ‘season ticket’ discount’s applied for pensioners. But even in that gesture – there was controversy – the 27% for a 6 month ticket and 30% for a 12 month ticket did not match the 50% daily concession already offered for rehabilitation access. That is why when I spoke with Ms Desmond on the 5th May that I chased her for a commitment for a better deal for FCATA members and she agreed as posted in the FCATA 5th May update.
In the aftermath of receiving the following message from Ms Desmond yesterday – some six days after we spoke on the 13th -
I responded to Ms Desmond’s message rather hastily and that response is also posted below:
This post is to update all FCATA interest members to the current status – I feel that this Council is as inept as ever and has no real interest in addressing the self-help needs of the 20,000+ disabled and aged pensioners in any real or meaningful way. The Aqua Therapy program cannot proceed without Council becoming involved and I have spent more that 30 months trying to convince them so.
There is a Council election in the next 9 months or so and I urge you all to take this FCATA program to all your local Councillors – their collective E-Mail for messages is linked here: All Councillors -
Please send your messages to your Councillor protesting their handling of the FCATA submission and its attempts to get the FCATA program up and running.
There are a number of Councillors who will face a difficult time getting re-elected – there are 20,000+ pensioners living in the Fraser Coast region – 20% of the population – they have a voice and the Council need to be made aware of just how loud that voice can be.
Ms Desmond may be swamped with other issues – but then that is why she receives a paycheck in excess of $250k p/a – that is supposed to reflect her ability to deal with issues like this – her dealing in this matter has sadly failed given her responses over the last 2 months.
Who appointed her – are they up for the Job?
Are any of the Council members worthy to hold their position?
I’m yet to find one in all my dealings with any of the Councillors I’ve met in relation to this matter – they include – Muckan, Hovard, Hawes, Brooks, and Mayor Kruger. It is just deemed as not a relevant issue on their agenda.
So once again – I urge you to contact your Councillor and make the complaint … the link to the each Councillor’s e-mail address is here -
FCATA Web Master …
Headline: “F.C.A.T.A. Update:”
Title: “Council agrees to Pensioner Discounts…”
Post Date: 5th May 2011 …
Article by: FCATA-Web-Master
|The good News delivered this week was very welcome. In case you had not heard – and I heard it from a Media call asking for a comment on the news – but on the 27th Apr the FCRC made a decision to grant Season Ticket discounts at the Hervey Bay Pool. The decision also called for negotiations to be entered into with the Maryborough Swimming Club (MSC) for similar discounts – MSC manage the Maryborough Pool. The full FCRC Minute of the decision is posted below:
Itried to contact the new CEO – Ms Desmond – her CEO appointment was confirmed last week – and with my previous calls since March having gone un-returned – I was not holding out much hope of an early return call. To my surprise MS Desmond called an hour or so later and I gotta tell you – the tone and conviction in the conversation during that call gave me renewed hope that there are public servants out there who understand civic duty. It was a delight to hear positive belief and to feel there was support for what this program is trying to achieve.
The conversation lasted 20 min or so – and Ms Desmond gave an undertaking that the discount offered via the Council minute above – will be bettered when the Council considers a new proposal from the FCATA for Tier 2’s and 3’s to access the pool between 7:30-9:00am Mon-Fri.
The understanding was that this would be for Members of the FCATA and who were independent and did not need transport or supervision whilst attending the pool.
This was a wonderous concession and made light of what the Mayor and his team had been posturing over for the last 9 months. It gave me the feeling that a new breath of fresh air just swept through the Council chambers. I would go so far as to say – that Ms Desmond has her own agenda and is prepared to lead – hopefully – Bevis Butthead and his group get out of her way.
Ms Desmond has asked for a new proposal outlining the FCATA agenda for the Tier 2s and Tier 3s and their access to the pool and beyond. That proposal will be sent within the next few days and I would expect discussions within a few weeks. Further posts on the proposal and discussions will be made here.
Hi all -
I have held back this post until after the Easter break – all to give the FCRC Councillors no excuse for not responding to a recent invitation to learn about the FCATA – as opposed to what they hear from third parties.
Unfortunately – it bought only a single Councillor response and I have to say – this Council remains in ignorance and just do not want to hear or learn from the public about what is needed in their community.
The link below is to the April FCATA News Letter and it is in WORD format.
Please read the Newsletter and if you can help with the attached Petition – any assistance would be greatly appreciated. All the news to date is included in the Newsletter -
This is a short update to advise the results for the 31st Mar Interest Notifications.
The notifications came from three different groups -
- Carers with direct access and responsibility to their clients,
- Respite centre operators, and
- Direct response notifications by mail, fax or E-Mail …
Each were asked to nominate the TIER level of interest – where
- TIER 1 = This grouping being represented by persons with severe disabilities who require full/part-time carers.
- TIER 2 = This group being represented by self-help disability pensioners, and other pensioners with mobility issues and wish to become involved in a healthier aqua therapy/exercise program on a regular basis.
- TIER 3 = This group being represented by all the other ‘pensioner’ groups, including self funded retirees, and people living independently who want to be part of a healthier exercise program to maintain their independent lifestyles.
- TIER 4 = For persons under the age of 18
The results were expected to yield interest levels of 300-500 and these numbers have been exceeded – only a small fraction (10%) of Carer groups provided numbers.
It is known that HACC provide services to over 600 clients and in discussions with the Management – they generally agreed that their clients would all benefit from a program like this. They and many like them have not provided interest numbers in any formal way that can be used in this survey. Quite a number of their Carers clients do not have the ability to complete forms – nor do the Carer staff have the time in their normal routine to chase down the advocates who would be required to complete the forms to indicate interest. It is just known that the Carer clients would benefit from a aqua-therapy program if it were available.
This was a very sensitive issue from the Carers perspective – and I am now acutely aware of how the initial survey requests did not fully appreciate this fact.
So with respect to the numbers below – firstly let me say – the program still remains focused on gaining access to the Council pools for the Tier 2 and 3 group as a first priority. The TIER 1 and 4 group will require specific funding to enable the paid employ to staff and safely manage a program that can provide an aqua-therapy program for this group. The Association when formed and Incorporated will pursue the funding requiements for these Tier Levels post haste.
Some Tier 2 and 3 participants will require carer’s in the pool environment i.e. learn to swim issues etc – and they will also have to wait until the funding has been sourced – and for the program structured to meet all workplace health and safety requirements – and for the Council to complete the necessary upgrades to comply with some of these requirements.
There are many Tier 2 and 3 participants who currently use the pool and/or will want to become part of the Association – will be able to start using the pool as members of the Association immediately Council grant access – and hopefully that access cost will match the Gladstone Council efforts in providing free access to Association Members between 7:30 – 9:00 am Monday to Friday.
The non-individual numbers below come from 5 Carers – and 5 Respite Centres out of more than 50+ carer and respite providers in the Fraser Coast Community who were contacted.
Interest Notification Numbers:
|Carer/Respite Name:||Interest Level Notifications:||Totals|
|Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3||Tier 4|
|Respite Care Notifications:||6||56||59||0||121|
These numbers exceeded initial expectations and is more than a qualifying number for the Association to take seriously the need for an Aqua-Therapy program targeting disability and elderly participants.
Research has shown that in 2009 -
- more than 5,500 people living in the Fraser Coast Community were receiving a disability pension -
- more than 30,000 of the population of 99,000 are aged 55 or over -
- more than 14,000 were receiving the aged pension -
This is a very large portion of the Fraser Coast community – all aided and assisted by:
- the Blue Care services,
- the Palliative care services,
- the HACC, OzCare, and other Church Carer services,
- the physio providers,
- the Doctors and Nurses
- and all the other connected – Meals on Wheels, house cleaning, etc …
This population drives a very large part of all employment and other commerce in this area. It is time for the Council to address the local services it provides to these residents who choose to live in this area. These residents want to exercise – but because of age and ware and tear – they need a soft environment to allow them to exercise without the associated pain and suffering – that means water …
The pension income does not allow them to attend the pool at $3.70 a visit – or with a Dr’s Certificate at 50% of that cost – they need regular pool access and season ticket discounts is one way of assisting – another way is to allow members of this proposed Association free access and for the Association to negotiate an arrangement with Council that provides access – and at a cost that can be afforded.
Council will be wanting this group to exercise – else the medical and health care resources in this community will be further drained of capacity – and lessen the services they currently offer – unless additional funding can be provided.
A small steering committee was formed last Friday and a second meeting of that committee is to be held on Tuesday next – the main aim of this Committee to to plan the first General Meeting for the Association at which there will be elected a Management Committee for the Association.
The Association needs Business and Community Leader interest to fill some of the senior positions on this Management Committee. Please – if you know someone that would want to become involved with a program like this at the Management Committee level – can you please advise me using this e-mail address: email@example.com or contact me by phone on 07-41 941 081 … or contact the concerned party and let them know about the program and pass these details on.
The Association cannot progress until we have the General Meeting and get this Management Committee …
In closing I want to thank all the Carer and Respite Centre Managers for their assistance in procuring the numbers they submitted. Hopefully this program will soon be able to provide to your members an aqua-therapy program that will please all … Thank you again.
bye for now …
Yesterday was a watershed day in many ways …
- First off in the morning there were on camera interviews with Channel 7 and Channel 9 who have come in response to a call to help spread the word about the program to the community. Both Channels have indicated they will be airing the interviews last night – interviews can be seen using the links below – files are compressed .avi file format and run for about 90sec -
The comment I will make on the record and on the content of these interviews is that there are no versions of the truth – I challenge the Mayor to deny he gave an undertaking during a meeting in Sept 2010 to address the issue of ‘concession pool’ prices.
The undertaking given was the Council would not wait until the next round of budgets to move on ‘concession card’ discounts – his comments in the linked interviews above were not an honest reflection of the commitment he gave during that meeting – his other interview comments were a muddied version of the truth – he was playing politics -
I call him to account for his comments – he cannot deny that he shook my hand and looked me in the eye and said: ‘No – we’ll do something now’ – in response to his Director Community Development’s suggestion that they do a review in the 2011-12 budget. The offer he did make has been documented at this site previously -
As to what other information he spoke about – the man is unconscionable and still has no comprehension what this program is about an can offer to the Fraser Coast Community …
- A registered participant who contacted the Federal and State Members – and a Councillor – copied to me the return comments by Councillor Brooks who I call a flip-flopper – and to ensure she is not misquoted – her response is pasted hereto in full -
sent 25th Mar:
My partner Neville, is unable to walk very much at all, due to significant problems with his health, To have something like this in Hervey Bay for people with disabilities would be wonderful and is urgently needed, Please support this
for me, as a carer I am not getting much attention and help from anyone as it happens.
response 28th Mar: from Councillor Sue Brooks
I hope Mr Bleys is successful in launching a group. I am sure Council will provide support to any such group once it is created.
Take care, Sue
further reply to Cr Brooks:
sent 28th Mar:
Thanks Sue, my understanding is that the Fraser Coast Council has not been very supportive of the issue
28th Mar – final response from Cr Brooks:
This is just not true. Mr Bleys wants Council to create the group and support it etc and this is not what Council does. We require the community to create the interest and/or bring it together and then we can work out ways to support it. Mr Bleys is doing a great disservice by running Council down. I believe he is not helping his cause and is not understanding the Council commitments properly. We do not have the resources to go out and create this group but if the community does, we will help as much as we can. We have always said this!
PS It is not just about entrance fees to the pool…
I sent the following message to All Councillors and Lisa Desmond yesterday after I received the Cr Brooks information:
To – All Councillors and Ms Desmond -
You are advised that the Cr Brooks comments are completely incorrect and misguided –
For some history please read the attached file sent to All Councillors in Sept 2010 – a summary version appears below:
the file can be read using this link: Pool issue 20100922
- Two years ago I contacted Debra Moore with a DVD about the non existence of ‘concession card’ discounts for pool admission.
- Ms Moore said there was nothing she could do and suggested I contact Cr Muckan – I left several message for Cr Muckan over a matter of weeks and he replied to none of them.
- I again contacted Cr Muckan via e-mail to raise the same issue again early 2010 –
- That resulted in a Council meeting in August last year – see attached file for Council minutes and responses …
- Council requested a report on ‘budget impact’
- Council report does not respond on ‘budget impact’ – but quotes erroneous numbers for other Council pool admission fees.
- Council report proved to be false in its information –
- My own report submitted –
- Mayor requests meeting
- Mayor gives an undertaking to fix the problem –
- Mayor gives me a personal invitation to pay the full and general admission price on a monthly basis – no discount to the general public price –
- This monthly payment plan is already available to the General Public
- During research for report – Gladstone Aqua Therapy program is discovered –
- Approach made to Council about supporting a similar program –
- Council advise they cannot support a program or establish such a program –
- Federal Funding grant ‘Healthier Communities Initiative’ canvassed with Council as being a possible funding option for program
- Council advise the funding application they are preparing and the parameters they understand the funding to be made available under – do not suit the proposed aqua-therapy program –
- Further research undertaken with Carer groups and they all suggest to apply for funding under the ‘Healthier Communities Initiative’ – submissions for this Federal grant closed on teh 4th Feb 2011 -
- Back to Council and told that they cannot become involved with the aqua therapy program – it has to be established by the community before council can get involved –
- Further research done on establishing an aqua therapy program on the Fraser Coast undertaken –
- Council again approached on pool access and cost question –
- Council indicate they will negotiate pool access and cost when Management Committee formed –
- Council informed that no funding applications can be made until Council give undertaking to support the program with pool access and a known cost for that access –
- Council refuse to answer further correspondence or return phone calls –
Council are aware of my own disabilities and their restrictiveness – yet they offer no logistical support to help establish a program that would benefit a great many number of people living in this community – forming a Committee to manage what will become a $500-$750k annual budget requires people with some experience and financial ability. The people who will benefit from this program will be able to provide some volunteer type help – but as for being able to serve on Committee and manage a budget, staff and the logistical support required for this program requires people with relative experience.
I do not have the ability to go and knock on doors seeking Community leaders to become involved with this program – all my efforts to date have been made largely over the internet – some small media help and by phone – in fact there have only been three councillors who has made any attempt to contact me in relation to this program – and I would go so far as to say – collectively – they and the rest of the Councillors take no responsibility for voting unanimously on the Council produced report last August – they got it wrong then – and they have it wrong now –
As a Council – of course they can act to better service their local community – they just choose not to when it comes to the aged – the disabled and the concession card group on this issue …
Why should they wait for this group to form their own committee and structure a program and then approach Council to beg them to help – why the hell don’t Council be pro-active in helping this Group help themselves.
Cr Brooks’ comments are naive in the extreme and are indicative of just how Council and Councillors recognise this large demographic group living in their community – they need Council to provide initial support by providing pool access and a costing for that access to help get the program up and running.
Carer groups have large Administration and funding behind them – this program does not have that – everybody says this is a great program and is needed – yet nobody at Federal, State or Local Council wants to become involved at the base level of formulation and getting this program up and running – the question is why?
This Council provides a budgeted General Public pool subsidy in excess of $250K per year – what do they provide for the ‘concession card’ group for pool subsidy – zero support – if they matched the general public subsidy – then the program has a base level of cost funding to make application for Federal and State funding. That level of support would encouraging funding from other groups –
If the only thing stopping them from making a commitment like that is that they want to deal with a Management Committee – then I say bullocks – this is a genuine attempt to do good community work and if council cannot see they – they are blind -
I do hope this clears up the misleading information Cr Brooks has put forth in her response …
She has continually got her facts wrong and completely off topic when she has responded on this issue with me in the past – any support she has offered to date comes as a flip-flopper and has had no real contribution to where the program is currently –
Regards … Ian Bleys.
Let me say further -
- The Council have had 2 years to address any moral and conscious position they personally may have in ‘not’ offering ‘concession card’ discounts to pool users – and they have not budged – this is not something that has just suddenly arrived at their front door – the Hervey Bay Council had never considered the issue of ‘concession card’ discounts prior to the amalgamation – yet the Maryborough Pool according to my research did offer concession card discounts -
- In the 2 year period this matter has been on the FCRC doorstep – the Council have given the ‘general public’ a budgeted $500k in subsidised admission prices – and not a thing for ‘concession card’ holders using the pool.
- When Cr Brooks says it is not just about entrance fees – she is right – it is about how a Council she serves on and supports – can be so blatantly prejudiced against the ‘concession card’ demographic on pool admission prices – when the same Council can offer ‘concession card’ discounts of varying degrees on so many other Council services in the area – [i.e. Council Rates - Bus operators operating under Council Tenders - Brolga Theatre - Maryborough and Hervey Bay Shows - and I am sure there are others. In addition electricity suppliers offer discounts - as to private local business's - tradies - Supermarkets - some Professional services etc ] -
- What is the problem in expecting this Council to fall into line with every other like Council up and down the QLD coastline and offer pool discounts to the ‘concession card’ holders.
- It is not like this group is going to the pool for leisure activity – they are going for exercise and the need to use the pool to assist with their mobility issues.
No – the Fraser Coast Regional Council are wrong and they also run the risk of the State Member for Local Government becoming further involved over the State Disabilities Act 2006 – and with reference to the following sections as a start … : [the Act can be downloaded via this link: http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/D/DisabServA06.pdf ]
- Part 1 – Division 2(6-8) [Objects]
- Part 2 – 18 [Persons encouraged to have regard to human rights Principle]
- Part 2 – 19(3-5) [Persons encouraged to have regard to human rights Principle]
- Part 2 – Division 2(20–33) [Service delivery principles]
- Part 3 – Section 34 [Minister may make disability service standards]
The FCRC presides over the highest per capita number of disability pensioners in QLD – yet it is a Council that does not recognise what this really means. The pool provides such relief for and assists in so many ways to aid this group – they have never thought to help this group in this way -
Councils reasoning is they believe someone else should put together a program for this group of disadvantaged persons. Yet late last year when a local carer tried to instigate a Learn to Swim program for a disability group – the Council chose to refused them access even though it was independently funded and staffed away from the pool staffing resources.
The Council does allow private physio’s to bring their clients to the pool because the pool does not offer this service. They also allow privately conducted water aerobics and other exercise programs on a private ‘pay as you’ use arrangement the persons conducting the program.
The Council has very strange attitudes to the whole ambit of disabled and aged persons using the pool to keep fit and help with mobility issues – as long as you pay the general public price – you can use the pool.
That attitude does not run consistent with what it does for ‘concession card’ users in other Council services and amenities. I dare say that the Council policy on this issue is flawed in a way that Council do not understand what the pool offers and can mean to those wanting affordable access to manage their mobility issues.
Have you had enough of this Council? Contact your Local Member and give them a serve – their contact details can be found at this link: http://fcata.wordpress.com/contact-info-for-federal-and-state-members-local-councillors/
To change the target away from the Council for a period as advised by a mentor – I turn to the positives of the week -
- I will be making a few calls during the week to approach some people about serving on an interim steering Committee – looking for 4-5 people to serve until the first General meeting.
- The Gladstone Aquatic Therapy Program President intends to make a trip to Hervey Bay to attend what looks like a delayed General Meeting to be held on the 5th May 2011.
- It is very important that the meeting be delayed until this time – the lady who set up the Gladstone program now residing in Hervey Bay has indicated today that she is prepared to become part of the initial FCATA steering Committee – she is away for most of April.
- Carol has been advising me on so many matters relating to this program – but not the Council bashing stuff – that she will be an invaluable asset to the program. She is a qualified nurse and started the GATA program off over 22 years ago – she is very familiar with Council problems coming to terms with a program like this.
- The steering Committee will be looking into the registration of the Association and its Incorporation – and will present a different face to Council to hopefully bring about changes to their resistant position.
- I looked to the number of Respite Carers and their preliminary estimates and the number is approaching 200 – I have over 60 individual Interest Notifications and this is fast approaching the bottom side of initial target estimates of 300-500 in this initial interest stage.
- This is but a fraction of the 5,500+ disability and the 14,000+ aged pensioners living in the area. Hopefully the media stories on TV last night will carry the message out to a greater number of potential users of the program.
Cheers all ….