Administrators to consider a more equitable system for sport

Friday, 16 June 2017

The City’s Administrators will consider the draft Fair Play strategy at the next Council meeting.

The council report recommends that the Administrators endorse the Fair Play principles, and release the strategy for consultation with sports clubs and community groups.

The Fair Play Strategy aims to address the current inequity in fees charged to sporting clubs and community groups for the use and maintenance of outdoor sport and recreation facilities.

The City maintains more than 300 community sports clubs, $85 million worth of sport and recreation facilities and 1700 hectares of open space.

Last year the City spent $5.5 million on maintaining and operating outdoor facilities, and this year’s proposed budget allocates $10.24 million for sport and recreation upgrades.

If the Administrators endorse the Fair Play principles and release the strategy for consultation, the City will seek feedback from all sports clubs and community groups through a series of meetings and forums, along with the strategy being available online and in all our libraries. The public consultation will run for a period of four weeks. 

Population growth has increased demand for more sport, recreation and leisure infrastructure, and existing facilities also needed to be maintained and upgraded.

The City will support any clubs facing serious financial hardship resulting from changes to the policy.

The Fair Play strategy would not apply to land or facilities that were not Council-owned or managed, or facilities of a regional, state or national standard. These would continue to be treated on a case-by-case basis.

The draft strategy is available on the agenda for the next Council meeting. 

Director Community Life Linda Quinn

The City is the largest supporter of sport in Greater Geelong. We want to ensure that all sports clubs and community groups continue to thrive.

There is a clear inequity and inconsistency in the ways clubs are currently charged and the level of subsidy provided by the City for the use of community facilities. Under the current system some larger clubs with more facilities or better service pay half the fees of some smaller clubs.

Fair Play aims to create a fairer, more transparent and sustainable system for sports clubs and community groups.

Fair Play will address the current inequity by linking fees to the level of service provided, the cost of maintenance and standard of each facility.  

The current system is not sustainable.  If we don’t act now there will come a time when the City of Greater Geelong is no longer able to afford to maintain sport and recreation facilities to the current standard.

The proposed system aims to maximise the value of public facilities by encouraging and rewarding shared use by multiple groups, clubs and the community.

Under Fair Play some clubs would experience cost savings, while others would contribute more towards the facilities they use.

AFL Barwon Regional General Manager Lee Hartman

The City’s current system needs reform.

We support the need for reform and the need for a fairer and more equitable system for all clubs and facilities.

We welcome the City’s approach to consulting with the clubs and we will work with the City and the clubs to provide feedback on the proposed strategy.