Drowning in red tape on pool fees
GLENN MAXWELL sent Lismore’s councillors into a spin at Tuesday night’s council meeting when he urged them not to increase the cost of family passes to the Memorial Baths.
It appears that with all the staff the council has at its disposal, only Mr Maxwell bothered to check how much other nearby pools charge families for a swim.
The difference was jaw-dropping and sparked one of the longest debates this year as councillors searched in vane to find a solution.
First the figure. A family season pass at Alstonville pool costs $280, a bit more than the $210 charged at Kyogle. Yet the same family would have to fork out $735 for a season pass to the Lismore baths.
Armed with this information, councillors weren’t surprised when Mr Maxwell, a primary school teacher and father of three, informed them Alstonville had sold 140 passes, Kyogle 100 and Lismore three.
When the motion on the council papers came up to increase the cost of all passes, Councillor Neil Marks was the first on his feet proposing a comparative price report be prepared before a decision was made. He was defeated when it became clear it couldn’t be done in time for the start of the season.
Next came Cr Gianpiero Battista, who proposed setting the price at a maximum of 10 per cent above Alstonville.
That was also defeated, as were four other motions, until the original was passed with a couple of additions.
Council staff were instructed to prepare a comparative price report, including usage this year.
Yesterday, Mr Maxwell was dismayed.
“If they really wanted to do something they would have,” he said. “I have to now think if my children can continue going to the pool.
“I hope there are no Ian Thorpes or Libby Tricketts in Lismore because we will never get to see them.”
ARE LISMORE BATHS FEES TOO COSTLY?
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