Albury Sports Stadium, my $2 worth.

I’m not entirely sure I want to buy into this debate, but I did want to provide a forum for people to submit their views.

The debate is around a proposal by Albury council to impose a $2.00 fee for spectators, effectively meaning that parents, friends and others would have to pay to see junior games.

I can see fors and against on this issue, here they are.

For. A $2.00 fee isn’t a huge amount, while I concede people from large families might struggle to raise admission if the whole family wants to attend, I don’t really see this as a legitimate reason not to introduce the fee.

If you can’t feed ’em, don’t breed ’em basically.

In any rate, I’d be genuinely surprised if some form of concession rate wasn’t forthcoming for genuinely disadvantaged people, that is fairly standard practice for both government and non government organisations.

Also I think in some instances having a user pays system is a lot more fair and equitable than dipping into the public purse for something only a certain number of people use.

I don’t think that principle applies to essential services like health and education, but user pays can sometimes be a way around the general public being saddled with pig in a poke type endeavours.

Obviously, public resources need to be paid for, they are either paid for directly by the people who use them or indirectly by rates or by the state government in the form of tax dollars.

Ideally, public resources are self funding, that way there is less temptation (and less justification) to privatise them and I guarantee there would be more than a $2.00 admission to a privately run Albury sports stadium. 

Perhaps the people who are opposed to introducing the fee should explain WHY the wider community should pay their admission cost.

Against. OK I lied, convince me.

No, I’m being facetious of course.

In fact, the community expects local government to provide low or no cost services all the time, our libraries, the art gallery, playing fields, parks and gardens, public buildings, recreational reserves are an expected “part of the service” of local government.

If the upkeep of the stadium is comparable, I’m not sure why such an obvious double standard should apply.

The people who use the stadium, presumably already pay rates so in that sense it seems like a bit of a double dip.

One obvious factor which is clearly lacking in this debate is a disclosure of costs incurred to council by the stadium itself.

I know it’s not like me to sit on the fence, but I really don’t know about this one.

I’m inclined to think there’s more good than harm done by a nominal entry fee, but I have serious reservations about council offsetting it’s financial obligations onto the community.

I’d hate to see a fee charged at the library or the art gallery or admission to parks and gardens.

It’s a troubling vision for the future.

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About alburywodongaonline

Hi I'm Jack Stone (a pseudonym), I'm a long-time Albury resident and I think it's a great place to live and work. I have a strong interest in local events and media and I started this site because I think a different perspective is often needed when reporting local news. I take a keen interest in local politics, as well as what's going on at the state and federal level, I'm also a supporter of social justice issues, the envirionment and the need for people to have a say in the events that effect their lives. I'm a fan of the Border Bandits and I'd love to see both teams take the flag this year, and next year, and maybe the one after that too.
This entry was posted in Albury, Council, Editorial, Local Government, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Albury Sports Stadium, my $2 worth.

  1. Pingback: Albury Sports Stadium, my $2 worth.

  2. Paying somebody to collect tax in two dollar instalments has got to be the most inefficient way to raise funds.
    training, super, security, banking fees, accounting costs etc etc.
    why not just bump up rates by .01% and save a fortune in admin costs.

  3. raydixon says:

    If you can stop adding to the propositions you put forward for a moment I might be able to offer an opinion.

    I don’t know how it works over there but in our council-owned art gallery there IS a nominal entry fee. So why shouldn’t the same apply to an enclosed & purpose built sports stadium with obvious high maintenance costs? Of course it should. It’s not like it’s an open-air footy ground.

    As for libraries, I think you’ll find they’re subsidised with Government grants.

  4. BLL you’re right, it is a particularly laborious way to drum up funds.
    I don’t know if an increase in rates is required or not, because, as usual, the council doesn’t really disclose any financial information.

    Sorry Ray, I should do my editing, then publish.
    I had a few after thoughts.
    Actually I wonder what the comparison of maintainece costs between a stadium and a playing field would be. I wonder if it might not be roughly equivalent in cost.

    I’m still no closer to knowing if I support this proposal or not.

  5. raydixon says:

    Well our local footy club is probably self-funding due to the beer sales. Maybe the answer is for Albury’s stadium to get a liquor license, if it hasn’t already got one. Might as well, it’s part of the culture! Perhaps Cr Gould could (wo)man the bar and do the drug testing.

  6. yes, I imagine it would take quite a volume to “drink her pretty”.

    I see (predictably) the BM’s violins have come out for a family who’se crying poor at the proposed fee.

    Written by guess who.

    Like I said, I’m undecided on this issue, but who knew having more offspring than a common vole would turn out to be an expensive proposition?

    Did you know that? I had no idea.

  7. I was raised a Tyke Ray, it’s only the ones that pay attention to the Papal edicts on contraception that end up like THAT family on Monty Python’s “the meaning of life”.

    If they’re silly enough to take that kind of rubbish on board, more fool them.

    Raise your locust-like plague of offspring because God says so….C’mon.

  8. Greg Naylor says:

    Watch ‘A Current Affair’ tonight for Channel 9’s take on this issue.

  9. the Albury sports stadium debate has gone national Greg?

  10. nunyaa says:

    I did watch A Current Affair and posted on this story before being given this link. My stance on the whole issue is still the same. The players, umpires/referees and volunteers shouldn’t pay on game day BUT any other spectator should and if training at these facilities, why not pay. To hire something, you pay. This is no different.

  11. If I can take the “anti” stance for a moment (for the sake of debate), for me the most compelling argument against charging the fee is that it’s already paid for by way of rates.
    Charging again might be seen as taking two bites of the cherry as it were.

    Surely players already pay by way of association fees, umpires pay a similar registration fee and charging volunteers, well it defeats the purpose really doesn’t it?

  12. Andrew says:

    I was suprised when watching ACA (I never watch it normally) when there was outrage at a spectator fee. How a parent would allow their kids (or use their own) to be a tool in this issue.

    Surely there will be a structure around frequent users and a discount on parents seeing their own kids. I investigated the fee and it is only a part of the DRAFT BUDGET and the website asks for public comment, so send your thoughts in and see if they’re addressed.

    I think there is no good or bad guy in this, only a shitty stadium running at a deficit.

    Still interested about why it’s being introduced, I asked around the local traps and found out that ALL the clubs I asked who use the stadium are subsidised by Albury Council. How can someone operate and plan improvements for a facility when the clubs who use it take money back and then complain that there pockets are empty? Ask your local club, see how much they’re getting back!

    I spoke to one that gets 40% back on all fees paid by the club and its members!

    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you…

  13. Andrew, I think ACA’s bias is pretty obvious, the “family” demographic is a large part of their audience.
    It’s a clear beat up and about cashing in on paranoia “gasp, shock, horror, could it happen HERE?” type angle than about presenting a balanced for and against.

    Surely it would be worse if the stadium closed down due to lack of funds which is kind of what Stuart Baker hinted at (in my view).

    It really is impossible to know how much trouble the stadium is in, because the figures haven’t been released, but as our mayor himself said “the money has to come from somewhere”.

    You wouldn’t have a link for that forum to submit comments would you?

  14. raydixon says:

    Still, I think the use of the kids in the protest on ACA was a master stroke. How is the council going to go ahead with the fee after seeing that? Stuart Baker looked to be under a lot of pressure and I’m not surprised he’s decided not to run again. He’s probably had enough of the circus and this issue just tops it off for him.

  15. That’s a shame, overall I think he did a pretty good job.
    It must be an absolute nightmare to sit on a council with shaved apes like Nico Mathews, Patricia Gould, Henk Ven de Ven et al.

    You know the saying, it’s hard to fly like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys.

  16. raydixon says:

    From ABC Online:
    The Albury City Council is expected to temporarily defer a decision on spectator fees at the city’s Sports Stadium when they meet tonight.

    The council introduced the $2 entry fee to cover operating losses at the stadium, but it was criticised by many parents, who boycotted the stadium last week.

    The council is expected to defer, rather than reject, the fee tonight.

    Trish Cerminara from the Albury Indoor Netball Association says with council elections three months away she is suspicious they are playing politics.

    “I’m just a bit concerned, I think it’s a fob-off at the moment, with the elections coming up,” she said.

    “Obviously they want votes. I just like something a little bit more final as to the time frame.”

    No surprises there!

  17. politicians playing politics? whatever next.

    Look I have to say, I’m leaning towards supporting the fee at the moment.

    The media beat up, lousy tactics of the protestors and the fact that it’s become a quick-fix for a stand-for-nothing yes-man like Nico Mathews has tipped the scales for me.

  18. raydixon says:

    It sounds like they’ve got to make some contribution at least. Maybe a ‘season’s ticket’ – discount for pensioners etc. Shhh, don’t tell Nico!

    Btw, I spoke to Brad yesterday. I’ll update my blog later but I notice he actually had a dig at Nico in Saturday’s edition. Maybe to balance the previous week’s excuse piece?

  19. I’d say they have two real options if they want to keep the stadium operating, other than offsetting the cost onto the broader community (which to be frank, hardly seems fair), corporate sponsorship (unreliable and could be more trouble than it’s worth) or user pays.

    I don’t know how anyone could go into bat for someone like Nico Mathews and still look themselves in the mirror personally.

    Did you get any clarification on the “mystery blogs” that threaten to ruin civilisation as we know it?

  20. raydixon says:

    Not a lot. Borderline was mentioned though.

  21. pffff, until Paul Greene is actually convicted of defamation, he’s just an ordinary citizen excercising his right to free speech.

    At least he has the basic intestinal fortitude to actually name the targets of his criticism.

  22. raydixon says:

    OK, I’ll take a guess at your motto – something about “silence means consent”?

  23. the translation is available when you click it.
    it means “he who is silent is deigned to consent”, in Latin of course.

    Basically the sentiment being if you don’t speak out against injustice you condone it with your tacit approval.

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