Proposed fee changes to sporting clubs will leave some struggling

SCRUTINY: Wellington District Cricket Association president Nic Cosier says his club couldn't handle the fee rise, but others are happy with the changes. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
SCRUTINY: Wellington District Cricket Association president Nic Cosier says his club couldn't handle the fee rise, but others are happy with the changes. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Sporting clubs across the Dubbo local government area will be hit with changes to their ground preparation fees.

Dubbo Regional Council has recommended changes to have the ground preparation fees more accurately reflect the actual costs to council. For clubs such as the Dubbo Athletics Club, it will mean a significant increase in fees, while for groups like the Wellington Cowboys the council charge will drop.

The changes were endorsed at the recent Infrastructure, Community and Recreation Committee meeting, following consultation with the sporting clubs.

Under the changes, a 30 per cent blanket subsidy will be applied to all sporting organisations’ ground preparation fees, excluding the Wellington Cricket Club, Wellington Little Athletics Club, Dubbo Cycle Club and Wellington Junior Rugby League Club. 

Deputy mayor Anne Jones said the clubs which had been given an exception would have the fee changes introduced in three years time.

The clubs were currently finding it “very, very difficult” to meet the charges, Cr Jones said, in particular the Wellington District Cricket Association.

“We’re talking about an increase of some $3000 for them for what they were paying previously. This will allow them to prepare for that increase over the next three years and budget,” Cr Jones said.

“I think when we get to the end of the three years they’ll be in a financial position to meet the new charges council is looking to pass on.”

In feedback given to council on the changes, Wellington District Cricket Association president Nic Cosier said the proposed funding increase was unsustainable.

“These costings will make our cricket too costly for many participants for the 2018-19 season. Even with funding, if we were lucky enough to be able to source some, it will mean many senior and junior players will turn to another cheaper sport where it is cheaper to participate,” he wrote.

Sporting Organisation Fees and Charges for 2018/2019 will be included in an upcoming revenue policy which will be placed on exhibition. The public will be able to provide feedback before it’s finalised.