Council has approved funding for Water Polo Country Championships in the Southern Highlands, if it goes ahead. Photo: Southern Highland NewsSOUTHERN Highlands Water Polo will financially benefit from the Country Championships if they are held in theHighlands.
The water polo group asked council to refund $2661 for fees and charges made for the 2013/14 pool season, but this was rejected.
The requested refund included $1350 for the group’s exclusive hire of Mittagong Pool for the club championships, $1300 for exclusive use of the pool on Tuesday afternoons and an $11 fee imposed by council.
Councillor Duncan Gair put forward a motion which rejected the refund request because of the “precedent it will set for other user groups throughout the shire and the charges levied were in accordance with council’s revenue policy”.
“We have to be consistent and I think that is the big thing, it’s not to be seen as hard or unfair,” Cr Gair said.
Cr Gair’s motion was lost and Councillor Garry Turland put forward a foreshadowed motion for council to approve the group’s refund request.
“This is a not-for-profit organisation and this particular water polo group is all junior driven,” Cr Turland said.
“It’s a big call on families to keep on paying to go into the pool.
“In soccer, rugby league, tennis and union, we don’t charge them when they go and train and play, we charge them an overall fee for the field.
“These people have to pay every time they go in to just train.
“They held the country championships here which was a big event for the community and big money was made and they are planning on doing it again this year.”
With Crs Gair and Turland’s arguments in mind, Councillor Graham McLaughlin put forward a motion to make a donation of the same amount of the requested refund for the upcoming country championships subject to a confirmation of the event being held in the shire.
“This way we are supporting an event coming forward subject to the confirmation of the event and we think this has an economic benefit to the whole shire,” Cr McLaughlin said.
Mayor Juliet Arkwright seconded Cr McLaughlin’s motion and said the solution “covered the situation well”.
“It sends the message that we are not setting a precedent but we are definitely demonstrating practical support to an event which I think will be a great success in the Highlands,” Cr Arkwright said.
Cr McLaughlin’s motion was passed unanimously which approved a donation of $2661 to be given to Southern Highlands Water Polo subject to the confirmation that the upcoming Country Championships will be held in the Highlands.
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