Council price hikes leave groups in cold
TOWNSVILLE City Council has more than doubled the costs of some community services since amalgamation.
O p p o s i t i o n c o u n c i l l o r Jenny Hill has slammed the increases to the fees and charges during the past four years, cl ai ming amateur sporting and performance groups had been priced out of locations like Riverway and the Civic Theatre.
Cr Hill’s comments came a f t e r c o u n c i l r e l e a s e d 2 0 1 1 / 2 0 1 2 p r i c e s a t t h e Lifestyle and Community Development Committee meeting late last week.
But council’s Community and Environmental Services director Gavin Lyons said the fee increases were all about cost recovery.
Mr Lyons said the price rises reflected the expense of managing the services and running the departments involved.
At Riverway’s Tony Ireland Stadium, prices have increased from $ 330, in the 2007 financial year, to $ 600 in 2011/ 2012, for a community group to use the sporting facility for a half day. For a full day, costs have risen from $ 660 to $ 1200.
To hire a function room at the same site, prices have risen from $ 99 to $ 200 for a half day.
Footpath dining venues and pet owners have also been slugged with huge price hikes in the past four years.
‘ ‘ S p o r t i n g g r o u p s a t Riverway have seen those
Sporting groups at Riverway have seen fees doubled over the past four years to use those facilities
election year. ‘‘ They will say it’s only a 10 per cent increase this year – $ 45 or $ 50 – but there were some really big increases in the middle of the term,’’ Cr Hill said.
‘‘ At the moment people are very sensitive with price rises . . . 50c more here, $ 10 more here, $ 45 more here.
‘‘ It ( increase of the fees) should be the cost of living i n c r e a s e , t h e Co n s u mer Price Index which is 2.5-3 per cent.’’
Mr Lyons denied there was any political motivation in the timing of the price increases.
Lifestyle and Community De v e l o p ment Co mmitt e e chairwoman Jenny Lane said she did not understand why Cr Hill was not happy that prices had not moved much as council prepared for this budget.