Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Shirley Way

AN AS­TON­ISH­ING 10-fold in­crease to YMCA Gayn­dah’s an­nual li­cence fee may crip­ple its planned ren­o­va­tions and fi­nan­cial self-suf­fi­ciency.

From the be­gin­ning of the month, Gayn­dah’s an­nual YMCA Aus­tralia mem­ber­ship fee sky­rock­eted from $1000 to $10,000. To keep doors open, Gayn­dah has to make some tough de­ci­sions.

AUS­TRALIA’S small­est in­de­pen­dent YMCA is fight­ing to keep its doors open af­ter be­ing slugged a ten-fold in­crease to its an­nual mem­ber­ship fee.

A YMCA Aus­tralia de­ci­sion to in­crease fees for mem­ber clubs and elim­i­nate con­ces­sions means YMCA Gayn­dah’s an­nual fee of $1000 has sky­rock­eted to $10,000 a year from July 1.

The club has the money to pay the first year of mem­ber­ship, but at the cost of a planned up­grade of fa­cil­i­ties and equip­ment pur­chases.

YMCA Gayn­dah pres­i­dent Dael Gid­dins said

Dael Gid­dins We have set aside this money over the last cou­ple of years.

from July 1, the club had lost a gen­er­ous 80% con­ces­sion on their pre­vi­ous an­nual $4221 fee, and all YMCA mem­bers would pay a min­i­mum $10,000 an­nual fee.

“They’ve been re­struc­tur­ing their busi­ness, and said ev­ery­one should pay for be­ing a mem­ber,” Ms Gid­dins said.

Ms Gid­dins said YMCA Gayn­dah did not want to sac­ri­fice ren­o­va­tion plans or sav­ings to pay for their an­nual $10,000 li­cence.

“We have set aside this money over the last cou­ple of years,” she said.

This was achieved through their goal of fi­nan­cial self-suf­fi­ciency – through mem­ber­ships, ac­tive users and hir­ers of the fa­cil­i­ties. One op­tion to re­tain the “good name base” and “joint in­sur­ance” that YMCA mem­ber­ship of­fers is for YMCA Gayn­dah to be­come a branch of Bund­aberg.

Bund­aberg YMCA pres­i­dent Phil Sel­wood con­firmed a meet­ing would be held with Gayn­dah’s man­age­ment com­mit­tee in Au­gust.

“Some costs are out­side our lo­cal con­trol. We’ve spo­ken to the (Gayn­dah) com­mit­tee over the last 12 months,” Mr Sel­wood said.

While YMCA Bund­aberg had no branches, it was look­ing to get a YMCA pres­ence in other ar­eas.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to com­ing out and hop­ing to get a res­o­lu­tion out there in the next cou­ple of months.”

YMCA Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Ron Mell con­firmed Gayn­dah would not be ex­empt.

“YMCA Aus­tralia is keen to work with the YMCA of Gayn­dah to ex­plore dif­fer­ent mod­els which will en­able the YMCA to con­tinue to serve the Gayn­dah com­mu­nity,” Mr Mell said.

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