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FCATA – Blog 2

To further update the data supplied by the Council spokesperson, and as published in the Fraser Coast Chronicle on the 19th Jan ’11, the following  comments were made:

” … Council said daily entrance fees were half price for pensioners, cutting the $3.70 fee to $1.85.

“The full year season pass is $293 – applicable to everyone,” a spokesperson said.

“Visiting the pool four times a week for a full year would cost $1.40 a visit using the season pass. …”

By comparison, and using all the Regional Councils between Brisbane and Mackay, the mean yearly price for a season ticket among all those Council pools is above $400.  It is more expensive in regions south of Fraser Coast, and  gets cheaper as you go north.  They all offer some discount ranging from 50%-20% for aged and disability concession card holders.  They don’t require a Doctors certificate – and if you take Gladstone as an example – all concession-card holders can swim free between  8-9 am,  Mon-Fri.

The bigger picture is to try and keep the aging and marginalised population exercising … it will save the Australian economy $100’s millions in short term reduced medical expenditure.  Fraser Coast Council is currently the most discriminate Council when it comes to recognising this statistical fact.  They should be doing everything they can to encourage this aging and disadvantaged to try and maintain their independent living lifestyle for as long as possible.  It will save the public purse $billions in the long run.

The subsidy asked for when Council was approached for the ‘concession-card’ discount was around $1000.  The Councils 2010 budget show the Hervey Bay pool had a $680,000 running cost shortfall.  Some of this is infrastructure appropriation, however, it is still $100’s thousands of dollars being spent to subsidise the ‘general public’ entry cost into the pool.

Linked below is the Council’s request for a report on the ‘budget – impact’ of altering the concession-card entry price for season tickets.  The Council produced report is also included in the summation, as is a researched response report that actually contacted every Council pool and spoke to someone and extracted the information about their ‘concession-card’ and ‘general-public’ entry costs.  The information destroyed the creditability of the Council’s own report.   As a response the Mayor arranged a hasty meeting and made a statement to ‘do something now’ to address the problem.

The Mayor had one of his staff offered me a special deal where by I would be the only one the receive the deal – he said I could pay the season ticket price on a monthly basis – yet it would still cost the same as the ‘general-public’ ticket cost.  This Council would not give up a $1000 to help the current users who purchase season tickets.

Link to Council Report on Pool Pricing, and the response report:

Pool issue 20100922

Link to Submission form to indicate you level of Interest in the Aqua Therapy Program:

http://bleyzie.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/proposed-new-fraser-coast-aqua-therapy-program/

bleyzie …

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FCATA – Blog 1

This is a first blog for the Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Association.  It is made available to all interested parties, i.e. potential participants, volunteers, professional therapists, and the like who want to be involved with this program.

The program is to help and offer Fraser Coast marginalised residents who suffer from handicaps, disabilities and assorted mobility issues, an aqua therapy based program.  The program is enough interest is generated will apply to the Federal and State Governments to become part of their Healthier Communities Initiative program.   This FCATA program is a ‘not for profit’ project – and we are currently seeking ‘indications of interest’ from local residents on many levels.  These levels might include potential participants, volunteers,  fund-raising, serving on Committee, helping with transport and pool activities, it might be in Web site administration, or Government Grant and funding applications.  This is a start-up program and any advice about your interest level is most welcome.

Indications of interest will stay open through to the end of March 2011.

That message started this morning  – 19th Jan ’11, when the Fraser Coast Chronicle ran a story, about an issue associated with the program – it can be viewed using this link.

This story is a start and will hopefully draw broader community interest.

This post is all about the positives that a program like this will and can do for the Fraser Coast region.  It will be a better and more successful program if Council can support the program.  Efforts to date have not been encouraging – and regardless of comments made in the linked story above – there is evidence from Council to the contrary.

A big issue will be how Council responds to its pool pricing structures for ‘concession card’ holders now that its discriminate policies toward this demographic has been exposed.  The daily entry discount mentioned in the story is not a concession or disability card discount, but a ‘rehabilitation discount’ that can only be obtained if it is accompanied by a Doctors certificate. That point is important on the context of this Council’s pool pricing policy.  Without that Doctors certificate – nobody gets a discount to the ‘general public’ admission prices.

By comparison, Gladstone Council provides ‘free’ access to their Council pool between 8:00-9:00 am  – Monday to Friday, for all or any concession card holder.  They also have an Aqua Therapy program that has been running for 22 years.  Their program is funded under a Home and Community Care program (HACC), has some 100 participants, 6 part-time professional staff, a host of volunteers, and permanent part-time staff running the administration.  Gladstone Council provide upwards of $40,000 in free pool time over the year to help the program.   It is a business model that we hope to be able to emulate for the Fraser Coast region.

Please, if you know of someone who would be aided by an aqua therapy/exercise program, please make them aware of this information about the proposed program.  The link to get more information about FCATA and submit your interest level data is:  Interest Level Data Submissions.
Cheers all … bleyzie …