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.