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Pool entry cost ‘right’

Tuesday, 7th February, 2012

By Kurtis Eichler

Councillors have not fully considered the ramifications of a $4 entry fee to the city’s multi-million dollar Aquatic Centre, according to Councillor Tom Kennedy.

Cr Kennedy said he has decided to move a motion at this month's ordinary meeting against Council’s proposed doubling of the complex’s admission fees.

“I am not sure all councillors have considered the full ramifications of the decision to double the entry fee and the impact this will have on our community,” Cr Kennedy told the BDT.

“The aquatic centre was built and paid for by the Broken Hill community and should be accessible and affordable for all.

“It’s a great facility, let’s utilise it to its fullest.”

But one regular user, Dion Woodman, has discovered prices of entry at the Regional Aquatic Centre are among the cheapest in the country.

Mr Woodman researched admission fees at other rural centres and found Broken Hill’s current fee of $2 was cheaper than 16 other aquatic centres, including those at Albury, Karratha, Port Lincoln and Tamworth.

The Mildura Waves centre charges $5 for entry, according to Mr Woodman, as does Alice Springs’ newly opened complex.

“I have actually been to some of these swimming pools,” Mr Woodman told the BDT.

“The one at Karratha is just an outdoor 50 metre pool.”

Mr Woodman, who swims between three to four times a week, could not find an entry fee that was less than what is charged in Broken Hill.

“I believe in the last 10 years the pool admission charge has not changed,” he said.

Mayor Wincen Cuy told the BDT last month an admission fee of $2 did not reflect the quality of the complex.

“We spent $10 million on upgrades to the Aquatic Centre over the last four to five years,” Mayor Cuy said.

The debate surrounding the entry fee follows a request by councillors last year for a cost comparison to be done of a Council-run centre versus private operators.

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