Yarra Council is working with local sporting clubs to achieve fair and equitable access for all
Wednesday 31 March 2021
Yarra City Council will continue working directly with local sports clubs to further explain how a proposed new allocation policy and fee structure will be applied.
Last night a report on the proposed new policy was withdrawn to allow for additional information sharing with community about the intent of the proposed Policy and how the new fee structure will work.
Yarra City Council Mayor Cr Gabrielle de Vietri said Council had been discussing the new policy’s intent with clubs and would continue working directly with local sporting clubs to address their individual circumstances and how the policy will apply to them.
“The intention of the proposed new policy is to bring Yarra in line with industry standards and other councils and ensure equitable access to Yarra’s sporting facilities.”
“It will also support the application of subsidies to clubs that promote participation, inclusion and diversity. For some clubs these subsidies could be as high as 80 percent of the proposed fees.”
Yarra has some of the highest quality sports grounds and facilities in inner city Melbourne.
Currently Yarra sporting clubs contributed an average of less than three per cent to the cost of running and maintaining grounds and facilities.
Some local sports clubs in Yarra currently pay nothing to use these sports facilities.
Mayor de Vietri said the intention of the proposed new policy was to recoup 20 per cent of what it costs Council to maintain these sports grounds.
The new fee structure would be introduced as part of a staged approach over the next three years, with a proposed discount of 50 per cent in year one and 25 per cent in year 2. This will result in many clubs paying less in years 1 and 2. When clubs meet policy objectives an additional subsidy of up to 80 per cent of the fee is also applied.
“For many local sports clubs the proposed new fee structure would actually result in them paying less to use the facilities and grounds than they currently do,” Mayor de Vietri said.
“The clubs that end up paying more receive exclusive use of high-quality facilities and based on a review of their membership numbers and financial positions, appear to have the ability to contribute to the maintenance of these facilities. This is all about ensuring fair and equitable access to everyone in Yarra who wants to use our grounds and facilities.”
Mayor de Vietri said Council was also committed to working directly with clubs who were experiencing financial hardship, as occurs currently.
“We want to ensure everyone has the same opportunity to access our sporting facilities, from small community funded clubs, all the way through to elite sporting clubs.”