Posts Tagged ‘Hervey Bay Queensland’

F.C.A.T.A. Update – 23rd Sept 2011

F.C.A.T.A. Update – 23rd Sept 2011 …
FCATA LogoThis months update is more of the same I’m afraid. To try and lift the profile of the FCATA in a direct way with Councillors and try to have them engage – I attended the Maryborough Council meeting on the 17th Aug and again attended the Hervey Bay Meeting on the 7th Sept. The Council Minutes reflect the address I gave during the public participation as follows:

Minutes of the FCRC Ordinary Meeting No. 15
held on Wednesday 17 August 2011 Page 4
ORD 7.4 Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre

Ian Bleys, 43 Wide Bay Drive, Eli Waters
Mr Bleys addressed Council on his support for the action being taken at the meeting to reduce admission fees at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre. He said that this region had approximately 5,500 disability pensioners and believed it to be the highest in Queensland. He sought Council’s support to use the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre for aqua therapy sessions to help people with disabilities improve their quality of life.


Minutes of the FCRC Ordinary Meeting No. 16
held on Wednesday 7 September 2011 Page 4
ORD 7.3 Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Association

Mr Ian Bleys, Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Association referred to a proposal regarding the Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Association which had been sent to the Chief Executive Officer and Councillors, and said a reply was still awaited regarding this matter and the proposed programme which would be beneficial to disabled people.

These minutes are but a fraction of what was said and don’t fully reflect what I was trying to say in both my address’ – I don’t know who vets these minutes but they do a very poor job on accuracy and content.

After the 17th Aug Meeting I received a visit from Councillor Hawes – no other Councillor of Council staff made contact. Ms Hawes is a genuine soul and she does have some appreciation for the intent of the program. I appreciate her support.

In pursuing the Council I sent Ms Desmond the following e-mail message on the 29th Aug as a followup to the Council address –

From: Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Assoc []
Sent: Monday, 29 August 2011 1:26 PM
To: Lisa DESMOND (
Cc:; Chris FOLEY; Ted SORENSEN;Mr Paul Neville
Subject: FCATA Pool Admission arrangements

Dear Ms Desmond,

I refer to the e-mail exchanges we had prior to the Council Meeting held on the 17th Aug and the concession admission process submission presented at that meeting.

In those message messages sent to you – and previous messages – I asked a number of questions you still have not responded to – can I please have some answers?

Specifically – I had ask if you followed up with Gladstone Council as you said you would in our July conversation about their GATA program and their free admission for all concession card holders between 8-9am Mon – Fri?

And – the question on 7:30-9:00 am ‘free’ access to the pool for FCATA members in line with the GATA concessions granted by the Gladstone City Council – where the FCATA pay Council a part of the FCATA membership fee for that access – what progress has been made on this issue?

The safety upgrades necessary – has any progress been made to have them addressed?

Have you pressed the Amenities upgrades necessary to the expenditures allocations Committees you indicated would have review any specific needs required to address the Aqua Therapy requirements – if you recall you indicated those meeting are about to take place around this time of year –

This Council has taken well over two years to address the disability access raised – how long before Council addresses the rehabilitative aqua-therapy requirements of this community?

Regards … Ian Bleys.

Fraser Coast Aqua-Therapy Association – Proposed
Contact Information:
The Proposer –
Ph/Fax: 61 7 41 941 081

Ms Desmond has neither acknowledged this message or responded in any way. I n fact that was one of the reasons I went to the 7th Sept meeting to front Ms Desmond and directly ask her why she has not responded. That was also ignored in the time since passed.

In the two weeks since that meetiing – her non response was further engaged when sent her another e-mail message on the 20th Sept – to follow up a similar message I sent her on the 29th Aug. The latest message is pasted below –

From: Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Assoc []
Sent: Tuesday, 20 September 2011 7:27 PM
To: Lisa DESMOND (
Subject: FCATA Proposal – What Progress has been made to address the issues raised …

Dear Ms Desmond,

I have been patient – some two weeks after I fronted the Council and 4 weeks after the previous address to Council in Maryborough – and you still have not acknowledged my correspondence. I also note that no Councillor has been in contact since I addressed the Council two weeks ago.

You have not responded to at least 3 previous e-mail messages – they were asking you directly what action you have taken to follow up on undertakings you made in our phone conversation over 2 months ago.

Prior to these messages you asked me to submit a proposal and I spent a good month preparing that document and it was sent to you in May – 4 months ago …

Ms Desmond your last e-mail sent to FCATA was on the 15th Aug when you spoke of the final amendments to the concession card entry prices. Let me remind you once again – all your efforts have achieved is to bring this Council’s Pool admission prices to the same levels on offer from all your surrounding Councils.

Your Councilmen sat on this issue for almost 2 years defying and denying those same concessions – your appointment triggered a breakthrough but only because the Council was wrong in its price settings.

Please don’t think that this a Council goodwill concession – just measure all the past years when concession card holders have had to pay the same admission price as the general public for season tickets as a yardstick on fairness.

Your Council has an obligation to try to help those in most need within this community – and as has been presented to you in the Proposal – FCATA members having free access to the pool between 7:30 and 9:00am will not inconvenience the H/Bay public pool in any way. The offer was made for part of the FCATA membership fees to be paid to Council for that concession.
Your undertaking to contact Gladstone Council to learn about the GATA program should have enlightened you as to how their Aqua Therapy program has helped their community.

A similar program in Hervey Bay would service a much larger local demographic with 25% on the FCRC area being either an Aged pensioner or a Disability pensioner. In recent communications you gave undertakings that you have not followed through on – I now ask you again to engage on this issue and honour your commitments and obligations to the residents living in this Council region.

Kind Regard … Ian Bleys.
Fraser Coast Aqua-Therapy Association – Proposed
Contact Information:
The Proposer

… and to this message there still has been no response from Ms Desmond or any of her staff that she might have staffed this out to.

However – I did received two responses from Councillors Brooks and Hovard thanking me for the CC message.

There is not a lot I can say – yet when I read the Independents articles on Ms Desmond’s two weeks ago and what a the opinion about what a wonderful asset she seems to be – I scratch my head and ask – can all that was written be true … then why has she not bothered to engage on such an important issue that has the potential to improve the quality of life for 25% of the FCRC residents?

I would like to write an article about this Council and really let loose on their actual awareness and lack of understanding on what the FCATA is trying to achieve.

Councillor Brooks came back the same day with a response:

Thanks Ian. I still believe you are asking Council to set up a programme itself or for us to give FCATA members free access to the pool. Is this your desire?
Cheers, Sue

There were a few back and forth messages that followed and never achieved anything – in the end Cr Brooks has her head buried somewhere and just does not want to get involved on this issue other than she thinks the FCATA wants something for nothing.

In the last nine months every Councillor has been sent every bit of information about the FCATA and its agenda. If they had of bothered to read any of the detail they would know and understand what this program is about and is trying to achieve. Having now addressed the FCRC Councillors twice – and awaited their response – I was hoping my appeals to the FCRC may have provoked more enquiry and interest … but no – their level of perceived interest is still zero.

Scott Rowe from the Independent ran a story a few weeks ago and that also drew no response from Council. He indicated that when they were asked for a response comment – the answer was ‘no comment’.

Ms Desmond said she would advertise the new concession admission pool prices passed in May in their electronic Newsletter – that has not happened either.

The Disability and pensioner demographic do not have a real voice in this region. Sheila King does wonderful work for her ‘Australia for all’ advocacy group – and there are more than 50 other advocacy and charity carer organisations in the region – but in summary – they all fear speaking out or becoming advocates for a better deal and risking their existing and future funding grants.

Please use this link to make contact with FCATA if you want to be involved in this continuing battle to get an aqua-therapy program up and running. E-Mail: – Ph: 07 41941081.

All I can offer is that whilst I remain healthy I will keep putting this issue in front of Council and other avenues available.

Lets continue the battle.


FCATA Web Master …


F.C.A.T.A. Update – 24th Aug 2011

F.C.A.T.A. Update – 24th Aug 2011
FCATA LogoThe Fraser Coast Regional Council(FCRC) at their 15th Ordinary Meeting held 17th Aug 2011 – voted to introduce 50% reductions on season admission prices for rehabilitation entry fees.

Prior to this council vote – and previous to the April ’11 vote to amend concession card holders entry fees – the cost for entry on season tickets for all pensioners and disabled was the same as the public entry cost. In April ’11 – Council decreased concession season tickets by 27% and 30% for half and full year entry.

The rehabilitation entry was not dealt with during this realignment of pool entry fees – this oversight was again bought to Council’s attention in May ’11 and this new resolution to introduce 50% reduced season tickets for rehabilitation entry was introduced as follows at the FCRC Aug 17th meeting:

DIRECTORATE: Community & Development
DOC NO: #2051965 LINK TO CORPORATE / OPERATIONAL PLAN: 3.3.2, 3.2.1 & 3.2.3


To provide an update for Council on fee structure and infrastructure changes to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre.


Since July 2010 there have been a number of significant changes to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre in relation to the fees and charges and infrastructure changes. There are also grants in progress for further improvements. Some of the upgrades and fee re-structure has been in direct response from members of the community seeking changes, while others have been identified through forward planning and maintenance scheduling.

Infrastructure changes have included:

  • Construction of a Life Guard Station and the refurbishment of the amenities as a result of forward planning;
  • Grant application approved to install a new lifting device for access to the covered heated pool and for a new replacement wheelchair, identified through general maintenance of existing equipment;
  • Heaters to the 25m outside pool have recently been replaced as a result of the previous heaters being at the end of their useful life; and
  • A grant application submitted to the Department of Sport & Recreation for a roof over the 25m outdoor pool after negotiations with a major user of the complex.

In a separate report to Council in April (Ordinary Meeting No. 7) concession passes were introduced for half yearly and seasonal passes in response to a community enquiry.

The approved fees and charges for 2011/2012 made changes to the daily rates and the 20 entry pass to include pensioner and concession rates and also a further discount for those on a rehabilitation program with authority from their medical doctor. This is as a response to improving business practices and in response to community representations to Council. Council has signed up with Disability Services Queensland for the Companion Card so that holders are able to have their carer or support worker receive free entry. This was from a direct request from a community member with a Companion Card. To provide further consistency to our current rates and charges it is proposed to seek approval for a 20 entry pass and season passes for those on rehabilitation with a letter from their medical doctor.


Council has been approached regarding the consistency of concessions for single entry and pass entry fees.

Adult Child Pensioner Concession Certified Rehabilitation*
Single Entry $3.70 $2.90 $2.90 $1.95
20 entry Pass $61.00 $49.00 $49.00 N/A
Half Year Pass $164.00 $115.00 $115.00 N/A
Full Year Pass $293.00 $211.00 $211.00 N/A

Note: 2010/11 a total of 1,104 rehabilitation single entry fees occurred.

*Holder of Disability Pension Card or Health Care Card – for rehabilitation purposes must provide letter from Medical Doctor certifying that aquatic activity is a requirement of rehabilitation. To ensure consistency with the concessions offered on single entry and passes for certified rehabilitation purposes with other pension concessions it is proposed to amended the fees and charges to include the follow:

Adult Child Pensioner Concession Certified Rehabilitation* (New Proposed)
Single Entry $3.70 $2.90 $2.90 $1.95
20 entry Pass $61.00 $49.00 $49.00 $33.00
Half Year Pass $164.00 $115.00 $115.00 $77.00
Full Year Pass $293.00 $211.00 $211.00 $142.00

This provides concessions for certified rehabilitation purposes of up to 50% on a standard adult entry free. To provide clarity for the Certified Rehabilitation it is proposed to amend the wording on the schedule to read: Certified Rehabilitation (see Note 1 below) which reads ¡§Must provide letter from Medical Doctor certifying that aquatic activity is a requirement of rehabilitation.

Further, in response to a request from the Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Association for details on availability and access hours, Council has advised the Association that unrestricted access is available to all users (outside of the Learn to Swim School classes) during the hours of 11am – 3pm Monday to Friday, 12 – 4pm on Saturdays and 10am – 4pm on Sundays for use of the indoor heated pool and anytime during normal opening hours for use of the 25m outdoor heated pool and the 50m pool.


  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Manager Aquatic Centre
  • Community Members


These initiatives have and will improve accessibility to the aquatic centre as an important rehabilitation and recreational facility.


That Council:

  • Receives and note the report; and
  • Amends the fees and charges to include a 20 entry pass, half yearly and all year season pass for those requiring rehabilitation with a letter from their Medical Doctor as follows:
  • 20 entry pass – $33.00
  • Half year – $77.00 (Summer 1 Oct to 31 March/Winter 1 April to 30 September)
  • All year – $142.00 (1 October onwards)


This resolution was voted and and the following minute is recorded in the 17th Aug Minutes.

[These minutes can be viewed on-line using the following link:]

ORD 11.3 – Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre
RESOLUTION ( Dalgleish / MucKan )

That Council:
1. Receives and note the report; and
2. Amends the fees and charges to include a 20 entry pass, half yearly and all year season pass for those requiring rehabilitation with a letter from their Medical Doctor as follows:

  • 20 entry pass – $33.00
  • Half year – $77.00 (Summer 1 Oct to 31 March/Winter 1 April to 30 September)
  • All year – $142.00 (1 October onwards)

Carried Unanimously
Ord 15/747/08/11

As the instigator of the Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Assoc (FCATA) – I attended the 17th Aug Council meeting and addressed the meeting during the Public Participation forum – the minutes of the 17th Aug FCRC meeting recorded this as follows:

ORD 7.4 Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre
Ian Bleys, 43 Wide Bay Drive, Eli Waters
Mr Bleys addressed Council on his support for the action being taken at the meeting to reduce admission fees at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre. He said that this region had approximately 5,500 disability pensioners and believed it to be the highest in Queensland. He sought Council’s support to use the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre for aqua therapy sessions to help people with disabilities improve their quality of life.

This address was hoped to incite some interest among the Councillors who have shown no interest in this matter since it was first raised two and a half years ago. The motion approved above only addresses what was put before Council in MAr 2009 – it only brings this Council region into line with what other Regional Councils had offered their constituents for many years.

Council have no right to feel proud on this issue – they lag behind all the Councils – and for almost 12 months now the FCATA has been trying to engage the Council on matters relating to improvements to the pool facilities for disabled patrons, for recognition of the FCATA in that they are trying to provide a means in which members of FCATA can involve themselves with a self-help aqua therapy program to improve the quality of their lives.

This council, and in particular the CEO Ms Desmond – have given undertakings to address some of the FCATA issues – since May – very little has been achieved and Council believe that the motion passed 17th Aug – addresses the FCATA matters raised.

If not for Ms Desmond’s involvement since she became CEO – none of what has happened to date – i.e. concession season price reductions – would have occurred. The Mayor (Mr Kruger) was against the proposal from the start – and of the 11 Councillors only Cr’s Brooks, Hawes, Hovard have responded to any of the ‘read receipt’ requests requested on e-mails sent to All-Councillors.

A point to note is that in the 17th Aug meeting the Hervey Bay Aquatic Pool was isolated and the fee restructure does not apply to the Maryborough Pool. This was bought to the attention to the Council during my public address yet in the minutes of that address – it indicates that my cause was for Hervey Bay residents only – this was not so – Cr Brooks made a comment as follows when we corresponded on this issue before the Council meeting.

” … The Maryborough Swimming Pool is leased and not under the same mechanism of direct control than the Bay pool is. I thought you would have known that by now…’

I responded to Cr Brooks telling her that all Maryborough Pool’s previous concessions were the same as the Hervey Bay pool – and asked why should this concession be any different. She has not responded to this question since.

I continue to believe that most of the Council members have no real interest in FCATA and what benefits it can offer and provide to Fraser Coast residents seeking aqua therapy rehabilitation.

Over the next few weeks/months I intend to go to more Council meetings to raise the profile of the FCATA requests directly to Council in a public way. The matters already talked about with Ms Desmond and her undertakings will be pursued during this forum. The lack of Councillor involvement will also be highlighted – particularly when some $300,000 in grant money was handed over to the Hervey Bay Tennis Club on the back of efforts by members of Council. This was for recreational activities and surely similar support should be available for rehabilitation services.

The Tennis Club has a membership appeal of a few thousand – and the disabled and elderly has a FCRC base in excess of 20,000. Council have to be made to recognise the benefits that will be available to so many of the Fraser Coast region via the FCATA when Council decide to get behind the program.

As with any battle – front line troops are needed. Single handed battles against a Council rarely have a victory – in this instance a two and half year battle has been won – and only because Ms Desmond had the pluck once she became CEO to take and make a case for Council to reconsider their position. Other Councillors and Council staff have not been so interested in promoting the FCATA – and to continue this fight more troops are needed.

Please use this link to make contact if you want to be involved in this continuing FCATA battle:

E-Mail: – Ph: 07 41941081

Lets continue the battle.


FCATA Web Master …

F.C.A.T.A. Update – 20th July 2011 …

F.C.A.T.A. Update – 20th July 2011
FCATA LogoHello to all FCATA interest participants. It has been some time since I updated this page and I hope that after reading this update – you will understand why.The last update [5th May 2011] spoke of some optimism over the progress of the FCATA – this update bears some news that has wetted down that optimism. In developments over the last week – the FCRC  CEO – Lisa Desmond – has joined the Councillor throng and put everything the FCATA stands for in the too hard basket.

After the 5th May update a submission was formulated in line with the CEO’s request and sent on the 19th May – Ms Desmond acknowledged receipt of this message and the Submission on the 23rd May.

This submission can be read in full using this PDF link.

As part of that submission and the good-will being felt from the CEO’s conversation – it was advised to the CEO that she could run with the submission for two months or so without interference. The intent was to give her a free reign with the content to see what she could achieve. That period has elapsed and I followed up with her on the 13th July with a lengthy conversation. I had been leaving messages from mid-June which all went un-returned.

The CEO I spoke to in the 13th July was not the same enthusiastic supporter of the FCATA program she was two months earlier. In fact – throughout the conversation that lasted the best part of 90min – she gave every indication that she had done absolutely nothing with the submission sent 2 months earlier. She stated that she had read the submission on a plane trip somewhere – she was in Canberra mid June and was then on leave after that until early July. Her return to work date was the 4th July – and I gave her a few days or so to return my messages – she did not contact me.

I phoned her office again after I read the Independent story published on the 7th July ’11. They also went un-returned. I again followed up with another call on the 13th July and Ms Desmond took my call – as stated we spoke at length about what progress had been made subsequent to her receipt of the 19th May submission and it became clear that she had nothing to offer. Not a single thing had been advanced. I broached the matter of the “Independent” story – and how the Mayor appeared to be out there claiming credit for everything he had opposed with regard to what the FCATA was trying to achieve.

The story in the ‘Independent’ newspaper was published on the 7th July 2011 under the heading – “Swimmers warm up with new pool heaters” – that story appears as an image file below:

Independent Story 7th July 2011

This story inflamed an already hot issue – The FCRC Mayor is a putz to try and take credit for any advancement on pool admission concessions that he reneged on in Sept 2010 – and continued to do so from that point onwards –

It was not until Ms Desmond became the CEO officially that se took a motion to council to have the ‘season ticket’ discount’s applied for pensioners. But even in that gesture – there was controversy – the 27% for a 6 month ticket and 30% for a 12 month ticket did not match the 50% daily concession already offered for rehabilitation access. That is why when I spoke with Ms Desmond on the 5th May that I chased her for a commitment for a better deal for FCATA members and she agreed as posted in the FCATA 5th May update.

In the aftermath of receiving the following message from Ms Desmond yesterday – some six days after we spoke on the 13th –

—–Original Message—–
From: Lisa Desmond []
Sent: Tuesday, 19 July 2011 7:14 PM
Cc: Debra Moore
Subject: Progress

Dear Ian,

Following our telephone discussion last I have requested Deb to investigate and respond to me on the different concessions applied for single entry compared to season pass. Further I have requested Deb to complete a report detailing what Council is currently progressing or seeking funding for that will enhance the use and accessibility of the Pool. I mentioned a few projects which we recently received funding for in our discussions.

Further Council is happy to promote the new season pass concessions introduced (as a result of your representation to Council) widely to the Community so at they are aware of these concessions and encourage use of the facility for recreation and rehabilitation purposes. I would also suggest that you approach Wide Bay Transit for information on public transport schedules that service the pool.

Once I have received the information and report from Deb, I will contact you with the outcome.

Kind Regards


Lisa Desmond
Chief Executive Officer
Fraser Coast Regional Council

I responded to Ms Desmond’s message and that response is also posted below:

—–Original Message—–
From: Ian Bleys []
Sent: Tuesday, 19 July 2011 9:57 PM
To: ‘Lisa Desmond’
Subject: RE: Progress

Hello Ms Desmond,

Thank you for your message …

I recall our lengthy conversation on 13th July and I made detailed notes as I’m sure you did as well.

Given the content of the information you provided in you message – a number of things come to mind –

  1. It is 12 months since I first took this matter to Council in a serious way – before that is was a few enquiries that ended up in the sending of a DVD presentation to Ms Moore in early 2009 – who after some weeks tossed the DVD – after some weeks I tried to follow up on what happened to my presentation and she told me I should take the matter up with Cr Muckan. (I have documented this in greater detail to Council previously)
  2. 12 months ago I became more serious in my endeavour and had several liaisons with Cr MucKan to pursue it further – this eventually led to a motion being put to Council to investigate the pool season ticket discounts for disability and pensioner patrons.
  3. The Council produced a report in response to a Council directive at their July 2010 meeting – that report was tabled at the Aug ’10 Council meeting.
  4. This Council produced report was a ‘dog’ report – in so much that it did not include any relative data to pensioner discounts that reflected other Council practices – it was also erroneous because no contact was made with any of the Council Pools to verify the data. The report thus presented was a misrepresentation of the data and whether it was done so deliberately is yet to be confirmed.
  5. This led me to conduct my own research and produce a separate report showing the glaring mistakes contained within the Council’s report – (report attached as PDF file)
  6. Ms Moore was involved in this dispute all the way up until Dec 2010 – as was Mr Smith and Mr Gaze – and a meeting with the Mayor was held in late Sept ’10 at which the Mayor gave an undertaking –
  7. That undertaking was dishonoured and the FCATA matter insured and you are probably up to date with most of what has happened since …

Your response today indicated that you are now awaiting new reports from Ms Moore before you can send me an update on what has happen in the 2 odd months you have had the FCATA submission.

I don’t have any faith in Ms Moore or Mr Smith and I have made this clear to you previously. In our 5th May conversation I told you of this and you agreed that I should deal with you directly – I can give you any number of examples or reasons for my mistrust of both Ms Moore and Mr Smith and the Mayor should you care or be interested …

In our 13th July conversation you offered to send me a letter outlining what FCRC has done to advance the FCATA cause – why is it now that you need to have Ms Moore compile a report to provide that information?

I told you that I needed to advise the 700 subscribed FCATA members and update them with progress that has been made. I indicated I needed this sooner rather than later – and yet you’ve taken a week to respond to our conversation and now I have to wait further for Ms Moore to do a report.

Ms Moors has had no interest in this program or the issues I raised with her for over two years. Why would I now have any faith in her being able to produce a report that advances the FCATA cause.

And in the interim – what have you and FCRC done with the FCATA submission in the last 2 months?

I am disappointed with the content in your response –

As previously mentioned I made detailed notes of our last conversation to which your message refers to and some of these notes are presented below –

  • – 13th Jly – spoke at length with Lisa Desmond – maybe 90 min … outcome FAIR
  • – Going to further review Disability rehab discount on season tickets i.e. daily 50% upgraded to offer season ticket discounts of 50% as well …
  • – Going to contact GATA and Gladstone COUNCIL to find out about daily FREE access …
  • – Going to go public with some media and promotional stuff on FCATA and its efforts to date via Council Newsletter …
  • – Does not want to offer different deal with FCATA and public – does not recall her undertaking to FCATA members … refer 5th May blog – check notes –
  • – Said she read submission but obviously had retained little knowledge of the detail contained within document – e.g. GATA program explained but she had little knowledge of program and many other issues raised during the conversation …
  • – Amenities upgrades for Tier 1 and 2’s to be taken to Council Oct 11 for approval – no guarantees
  • – Told her about Paul Neville’s offer to assist with stand alone pool project – the $6-$10 million cost – asked her to speak to Mr Neville about his offer to help with the project …
  • – She is going to send a letter updating what Council is offering and going to do about upgrades …
  • – She indicated sending me a letter outlining what Council has already conceded to do so I could post it on-line …

Further to your response – you make no reference as to whether you contacted Gladstone Council to find out about GATA and how they offer the ‘free’ access for pension card holders between 8-9 Mon – Fri – have you done this?

To further update you on my understandings of your undertaking re – ‘the better deal for FCATA members’ – during and from our conversation on 5th May – I blogged the details of that conversation the same day and they are pasted hereto for your reference:

They can also be read on-line and that post includes a copy of the Council minute – use link here –

“… The good News delivered this week was very welcome. In case you had not heard – and I heard it from a Media call asking for a comment on the news – but on the 27th Apr the FCRC made a decision to grant Season Ticket discounts at the Hervey Bay Pool. The decision also called for negotiations to be entered into with the Maryborough Swimming Club (MSC) for similar discounts – MSC manage the Maryborough Pool. The full FCRC Minute of the decision is posted below:

I tried to contact the new CEO – Ms Desmond – her CEO appointment was confirmed last week – and with my previous calls since March having gone un-returned – I was not holding out much hope of an early return call. To my surprise MS Desmond called an hour or so later and I gotta tell you – the tone and conviction in the conversation during that call gave me renewed hope that there are public servants out there who understand civic duty. It was a delight to hear positive belief and to feel there was support for what this program is trying to achieve.

The conversation lasted 20 min or so – and Ms Desmond gave an undertaking that the discount offered via the Council minute above – will be bettered when the Council considers a new proposal from the FCATA for Tier 2′s and 3′s to access the pool between 7:30-9:00am Mon-Fri.

The understanding was that this would be for Members of the FCATA and who were independent and did not need transport or supervision whilst attending the pool.

This was a wondrous concession and made light of what the Mayor and his team had been posturing over for the last 9 months. It gave me the feeling that a new breath of fresh air just swept through the Council chambers. I would go so far as to say – that Ms Desmond has her own agenda and is prepared to lead – hopefully – Bevis Butthead and his group get out of her way.

Ms Desmond has asked for a new proposal outlining the FCATA agenda for the Tier 2s and Tier 3s and their access to the pool and beyond. That proposal will be sent within the next few days and I would expect discussions within a few weeks. Further posts on the proposal and discussions will be made here…”

[End of Post]

I go back to this 5th July post because when this blog was first posted – I sent you and all Councillors, Ms Moore and Mr Smith a direct link to this blog update – if you had a problem with its content then – you or nobody else from Council made any attempt to correct the information –

The data in this blog post is as how I recall our conversation. I have not misquoted you – and yet the undertaken given is something that has been lost in the ensuring months. That is your error – not mine –

As you can see from the tone of the 5th July post – you offered hope when all I have received in the 2 years of dealing with the Mayor, Mr Smith, Mr Muckan, Ms Hovard, and Ms Moore was a – ‘shutout’ – a ‘go away’ – a ‘we don’t help individual’s we only deal with incorporated associations’ – and now as reported in the media – [per The Independent 7th July pg-12] – the Mayor is out there taking credit for pool improvements and pensioner discounts for season tickets that would never have been on his agenda had it not been for the efforts of FCATA …

I take extreme objection to this and will be making representations to the Independent to have the context of the story corrected.

The Mayor opposed the discounts at every stage and you of all people knew this at the time … it was your motion that had the season tickets discounted back in April ’11 as your first act of business when you officially became the CEO … you had to have known about the Mayor’s continued objection to this matter.

No … Ms Desmond – you have not followed through on your undertakings given on the 5th May – you have not honoured your commitments – and given the length and breath of our conversation we had on the 13th July – the response you provided today falls far short of an adequate or reasonable response.

For your benefit I again – (the 4th time I have sent this document to Council) – have attached the report response to the Aug ’10 FCRC Report that was submitted to Council and on which every Council member voted in favour of – there was no discussion recorded on how the report was compiled and when I asked the question and enquired to who compiled the report and how it was compiled after I was told of the Council’s decision – I was dealt with sharply and with contempt by Mr Gaze. It was very evident at that point that nobody was taking any notice of what I was trying to achieve. From this point on – Council have done everything to obstruct this program up until I had the conversation with you on the 5th May 2011 – or so I thought.

When I established this Council report was grossly incorrect in its representation of the data – and for what it did not include – I did research and compiled my own report and sent it to All Councillors and Mr Gaze.

The attached report – [linked here] – proves beyond any doubt – and as we discussed briefly in our Feb ’10 meeting – to which you also cut me short because of your time constraints at that meeting – and again last week – FCRC Council were negligent in their duty of care and responsibility in compiling that report – they did not do their job – and as a result they reported erroneous data to which Council made a decision and made this issue all that more difficult to present to Council.

This Council error has never been corrected – and perhaps I should have focused then in having the actions of Council at the time bought to the attention of the State Minister for Local Government to have the matter exposed – and Council made accountable for their own failings in not having done any due diligence on the report before it was presented to Council.

At the time I became focused on the bigger picture (FCATA) – having discovered the GATA program as part of my own research – but your want go back to the same people who were responsible for producing the first erroneous report astounds me –

I raised with you your undertaking re – ‘for a better deal for FCATA members’ in our 5th May conversation in our recent conversation – you were unsure about the undertaking – I am not – you gave a clear indication that you would offer a better deal for FCATA members to access the pool than what was announced in your season tickets discount dealt and I reported it at the time.

I believe that you did not fully understand the background to this issue at our Feb ’11 meeting, and again when we spoke at length a week ago – and I believe you still don’t have a full understanding of the background and what this issue is all about – please do not underestimate my resolve – I would be happy to once again go over the history first hand at a sit down meeting – but then I would also ask myself why did I write all those detailed and expanded commentary messages – and send them to you and everybody else at Council if they were not really read or understood.

I gave you an undertaking that I would leave this with you for 2 months in our 5th May conversation and see where you went with it – well – if your letter below is representative of where you have taken this matter in that agreed time-frame – it is a very sad failure –

You going back to Council staff to once again do a report is where this matter was 12 months ago when Mr Muckan went that path that ended up with Council requesting a report – this matter has surely progressed from their in my mind – but sadly – You and Council are looking at another diversion rather that someone at Council stepping up and taking responsibility for a long term discriminate Pool admission policy that disadvantages pensioners and the disabled.

I am now intending to take this further using media and whatever other avenues that are available to advance this cause and highlight your Council’s extreme inability to deal with this matter.

If the content of this message pushes you to an ‘anger’ response – then I’m content with that and advise that perhaps you now know how it feels to be treated with utter contempt – and represents a reflection of how I feel you and your Council has treated my issue.

I ask you – what have you done personally since your received the 19th May ’11 submission?

How have you progressed with the requests made with regard to the FCATA submission in the 2 months you have had the submission … discarding the last week …

I have not sent this message to ‘All Councillors’ or other specific targets as yet – but will be doing so unless I get a more urgent response that fully addresses the submissions information and your Council begins to take this issue with the seriousness that identifies with the 20,000+ disability and aged pensioners living in the Fraser Coast region.

Regards …
Fraser Coast Aqua-Therapy Association – Proposed Contact Information:

I have made this post to update all FCATA interest members – I feel that this Council is as inept as ever and has no real interest in addressing the needs of the 20,000+ disabled and aged pensioners in any self-help way. The Aqua Therapy program cannot proceed without Council becoming involved and I have spent more that 30 months trying to convince them so.

There is a Council election in the next 9 months or so. I urge you all to take this FCATA program to all your local Councillors – and to facilitate that – their collective E-Mail is: All Councillors

Please send messages to your Councillors protesting their handling of the FCATA submission and its attempts to get the FCATA program up and running.

There are a number of Councillors who will face a difficult time getting re-elected – there are 20,000+ pensioners living in the Fraser Coast region – 20% of the population – they have a voice and the Council need to be made aware of just how loud that voice can be.

Ms Desmond may be swamped with other issues – but then that is why she receives a paycheck in excess of $250k p/a – that is supposed to reflect her ability to deal with issues like this – her dealing in this matter has sadly failed given her response over the last 2 months.

Who appointed her – are they up for the Job?

Are any of the Council members worthy to hold their position?

I’m yet to find one in all my dealings with any of the Councillors I’ve met in relation to this matter – they include – Muckan, Hovard, Hawes, Brooks, and Mayor Kruger. It is just deemed as not a relevant issue on their agenda.

So once again – I urge you to contact your Councillor and make the complaint … the link to the each Councillor’s e-mail address is here


FCATA Web Master …

8th Apr Update …

Hi all,

This is a short update to advise the results for the 31st Mar Interest Notifications.

The notifications came from three different groups –

  1. Carers with direct access and responsibility to their clients,
  2. Respite centre operators, and
  3. Direct response notifications by mail, fax or E-Mail …

Each were asked to nominate the TIER level of interest – where

  1. TIER 1 = This grouping being represented by persons with severe disabilities who require full/part-time carers.
  2. TIER 2 = This group being represented by self-help disability pensioners, and other pensioners with mobility issues and wish to become involved in a healthier aqua therapy/exercise program on a regular basis.
  3. TIER 3 = This group being represented by all the other ‘pensioner’ groups, including self funded retirees, and people living independently who want to be part of a healthier exercise program to maintain their independent lifestyles.
  4. TIER 4 = For persons under the age of 18

The results were expected to yield interest levels of 300-500 and these numbers have been exceeded – only a small fraction (10%) of Carer groups provided numbers.

It is known that HACC provide services to over 600 clients and in discussions with the Management – they generally agreed that their clients would all benefit from a program like this.  They and many like them have not provided interest numbers in any formal way that can be used in this survey.  Quite a number of their Carers clients do not have the ability to complete forms – nor do the Carer staff have the time in their normal routine to chase down the advocates who would be required to complete the forms to indicate interest.  It is just known that the Carer clients would benefit from a aqua-therapy program if it were available.

This was a very sensitive issue from the Carers perspective – and I am now acutely aware of how the initial survey requests did not fully appreciate this fact.

So with respect to the numbers below – firstly let me say – the program still remains focused on gaining access to the Council pools for the Tier 2 and 3 group as a first priority.  The TIER 1 and 4 group will require specific funding to enable the paid employ to staff and safely manage a program that can provide an aqua-therapy program for this group.  The Association when formed and Incorporated will pursue the funding requiements for these Tier Levels post haste.

Some Tier 2 and 3 participants will require carer’s in the pool environment i.e. learn to swim issues etc – and they will also have to wait until the funding has been sourced – and for the program structured to meet all workplace health and safety requirements – and for the Council to complete the necessary upgrades to comply with some of these requirements.

There are many Tier 2 and 3 participants who currently use the pool and/or will want to become part of the Association – will be able to start using the pool as members of the Association immediately Council grant access – and hopefully that access cost will match the Gladstone Council efforts in providing free access to Association Members between 7:30 – 9:00 am Monday to Friday.

The non-individual numbers below come from 5 Carers – and 5 Respite Centres out of more than 50+ carer and respite providers in the Fraser Coast  Community who were contacted.

Interest Notification Numbers:

Carer/Respite Name: Interest Level Notifications: Totals
Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4
Individual Notifications: 9 32 30 6 77
Respite Care Notifications: 6 56 59 0 121
Carer Notifications: 117 189 175 0 481
Totals: 132 277 264 6 679

These numbers exceeded initial expectations and is more than a qualifying number for the Association to take seriously the need for an Aqua-Therapy program targeting disability and elderly participants.

Research has shown that in 2009 –

  • more than 5,500 people living in the Fraser Coast Community were receiving a disability pension –
  • more than 30,000 of the population of 99,000 are aged 55 or over –
  • more than 14,000 were receiving the aged pension –

This is a very large portion of the Fraser Coast community – all aided and assisted by:

  • the Blue Care services,
  • the Palliative care services,
  • the HACC, OzCare, and other Church Carer services,
  • the physio providers,
  • the Doctors and Nurses
  • and all the other connected – Meals on Wheels, house cleaning, etc …

This population drives a very large part of all employment and other commerce in this area.  It is time for the Council to address the local services it provides to these residents who choose to live in this area.  These residents want to exercise – but because of age and ware and tear – they need a soft environment to allow them to exercise without  the associated pain and suffering – that means water …

The pension income does not allow them to attend the pool at $3.70 a visit – or with a Dr’s Certificate at 50% of that cost – they need regular pool access and season ticket discounts is one way of assisting – another way is to allow members of this proposed Association free access and for the Association to negotiate an arrangement with Council that provides access – and at a cost that can be afforded.

Council will be wanting this group to exercise – else the medical and health care resources in this community will be further drained of capacity – and lessen the services they currently offer – unless additional funding can be provided.

Current Status:

A small steering committee was formed last Friday and a second meeting of that committee is to be held on Tuesday next – the main aim of this Committee to to plan the first General Meeting for the Association at which there will be elected a Management Committee for the Association.

The Association needs Business and Community Leader interest to fill some of the senior positions on this Management Committee.  Please – if you know someone that would want to become involved with a program like this at the Management Committee level – can you please advise me using this e-mail address: or contact me by phone on 07-41 941 081 … or contact the concerned party and let them know about the program and pass these details on.

The Association cannot progress until we have the General Meeting and get this Management Committee …

In closing I want to thank all the Carer and Respite Centre Managers for their assistance in procuring the numbers they submitted.  Hopefully this program will soon be able to provide to your members an aqua-therapy program that will please all …  Thank you again.

bye for now …

29th Mar Update …

Hello all,

Yesterday was a watershed day in many ways …

  • First off in the morning there were on camera interviews with Channel 7 and Channel 9 – they came in response to help spread the word about the program to the Fraser Coast community.  Both Channels indicated they will air the interviews Monday night – interviews can be seen using the links below – files are compressed .avi file format and run for about 90sec –
  1. Channel 7 Local News Story
  2. Channel 9 Local News Story

The comment I will make on the record about the content of the interviews is that there are no versions of the truth – I challenge the Mayor to deny he gave an undertaking during a meeting in Sept 2010  to immediately address the issue of ‘concession pool’ prices.

The undertaking he gave was that Council would not wait until the next round of budgets to move on ‘concession card’ discounts – his comments in the linked interviews above were not an honest reflection of the commitment he gave during that meeting – his other interview comments were a muddied version of the truth – he was playing politics –

I call him to account for his comments – he cannot deny that he shook my hand and looked me in the eye and said: ‘No – we’ll do something now’ – in response to his Director Community Development’s suggestion that they do a review in the 2011-12 budget.  The offer he did make has been documented at this site previously –

As to what other information he spoke about – the man is unconscionable and still has no comprehension what this program is about an can offer to the Fraser Coast Community …

  • A registered participant who contacted the Federal and State Member – and a Councillor – copied to me the return comments by Councillor Brooks who I call a flip-flopper – and to ensure she is not misquoted – her response is pasted hereto in full –

sent 25th Mar:


My partner Neville, is unable to walk very much at all, due to significant problems with his health, To have something like this in Hervey Bay for people with disabilities would be wonderful and is urgently needed, Please support this

for me, as a carer I am not getting much attention and help from anyone as it happens.


response 28th Mar: from Councillor Sue Brooks

I hope Mr Bleys is successful in launching a group. I am sure Council will provide support to any such group once it is created.

Take care, Sue


further reply to Cr Brooks:

sent 28th Mar:

Thanks Sue, my understanding is that the Fraser Coast Council has not been very supportive of the issue


28th Mar – final response from Cr Brooks:

This is just not true. Mr Bleys wants Council to create the group and support it etc and this is not what Council does. We require the community to create the interest and/or bring it together and then we can work out ways to support it. Mr Bleys is doing a great disservice by running Council down. I believe he is not helping his cause and is not understanding the Council commitments properly. We do not have the resources to go out and create this group but if the community does, we will help as much as we can. We have always said this!

Ta, Sue

PS It is not just about entrance fees to the pool…


I sent the following message to All Councillors and Lisa Desmond yesterday after I received the Cr Brooks information:

To – All Councillors and Ms Desmond –

You are advised that the Cr Brooks comments are completely incorrect and misguided –


For some history please read the attached file sent to All Councillors in Sept 2010 – a summary version appears below:

The file can be read using this link:  Pool issue 20100922

  • Two years ago I contacted Debra Moore with a DVD about the non existence of ‘concession card’ discounts for pool admission.
  • Ms Moore said there was nothing she could do and suggested I contact Cr Muckan – I left several message for Cr Muckan over a matter of weeks and he replied to none of them.
  • I again contacted Cr Muckan via e-mail to raise the same issue again early 2010 –
  • That resulted in a Council meeting in August last year – see attached file for Council minutes and responses …
  • Council requested a report on ‘budget impact’
  • Council report does not respond on ‘budget impact’ – but quotes erroneous numbers for other Council pool admission fees.
  • Council report proved to be false in its information –
  • My own report submitted –
  • Mayor requests meeting
  • Mayor gives an undertaking to fix the problem –
  • Mayor gives me a personal invitation to pay the full and general admission price on a monthly basis – no discount to the general public price –
  • This monthly payment plan is already available to the General Public
  • During research for report – Gladstone Aqua Therapy program is discovered –
  • Approach made to Council about supporting a similar program –
  • Council advise they cannot support a program or establish such a program –
  • Federal Funding grant ‘Healthier Communities Initiative’ canvassed with Council as being a possible funding option for program
  • Council advise the funding application they are preparing and the parameters they understand the funding to be made available under – do not suit the proposed aqua-therapy program –
  • Further research undertaken with Carer groups and they all suggest to apply for funding under the ‘Healthier Communities Initiative’ – submissions for this Federal grant closed on the 4th Feb 2011 –
  • Back to Council and told that they cannot become involved with the aqua therapy program – it has to be established by the community before council can get involved –
  • Further research done on establishing an aqua therapy program on the Fraser Coast undertaken –
  • Council again approached on pool access and cost question –
  • Council indicate they will negotiate pool access and cost when Management Committee formed –
  • Council informed that no funding applications can be made until Council give undertaking to support the program with pool access and a known cost for that access –
  • Council refuse to answer further correspondence or return phone calls –

Council are aware of my own disabilities and their restrictiveness – yet they offer no logistical support to help establish a program that would benefit a great many number of people living in this community – forming a Committee to manage what will become a $500-$750k annual budget requires people with some experience and financial ability.  The people who will benefit from this program will be able to provide some volunteer type help – but as for being able to serve on Committee and manage a budget, staff and the logistical support required for this program requires people with relative experience.

I do not have the ability to go and knock on doors seeking Community leaders to become involved with this program – all my efforts to date have been made largely over the internet – some small media help and by phone – in fact there have only been three councillors who has made any attempt to contact me in relation to this program – and I would go so far as to say  –  collectively – they and the rest of the Councillors take no responsibility for voting unanimously on the Council produced report last August – they got it wrong then – and they have it wrong now –

As a Council – of course they can act to better service their local community – they just choose not to when it comes to the aged – the disabled and the concession card group on this issue …

Why should they wait for this group to form their own committee and structure a program and then approach Council to beg them to help – why the hell don’t Council be pro-active in helping this Group help themselves.

Cr Brooks’ comments are naive in the extreme and are indicative of just how Council and Councillors recognise this large demographic group living in their community – they need Council to provide initial support by providing pool access and a costing for that access to help get the program up and running.

Carer groups have large Administration and funding behind them – this program does not have that – everybody says this is a great program and is needed – yet nobody at Federal, State or Local Council wants to become involved at the base level of formulation and getting this program up and running – the question is why?

This Council provides a budgeted General Public pool subsidy in excess of $250K per year – what do they provide for the ‘concession card’ group for pool subsidy – zero  support – if they matched the general public subsidy – then the program has a base level of cost funding to make application for Federal and State funding.  That level of support would encourage funding from other groups –

If the only thing stopping them from making a commitment like that is that they want to deal with a Management Committee – then I say bullocks – this is a genuine attempt to do good community work and if council cannot see they – they are blind –

I do hope this clears up the misleading information Cr Brooks has put forth in her response …

She has continually got her facts wrong and completely off topic when she has responded on this issue with me in the past – any support she has offered to date comes as a flip-flopper and has had no real contribution to where the program is currently –

Regards … Ian Bleys.

Let me say further –

  • The Council have had 2 years to address any moral and conscious position they personally may have in ‘not’ offering ‘concession card’ discounts to pool users – and they have not budged – this is not something that has just suddenly arrived at their front door – the Hervey Bay Council had never considered the issue of ‘concession card’ discounts prior to the amalgamation – yet the Maryborough Pool according to my research did offer concession card discounts –
  • In the 2 year period this matter has been on the FCRC doorstep – the Council have given the ‘general public’ a budgeted $500k in subsidised admission prices – and not a thing for ‘concession card’ holders using the pool.
  • When Cr Brooks says it is not just about entrance fees – she is right – it is about how a Council she serves on and supports – can be so blatantly prejudiced against the ‘concession card’ demographic on pool admission prices – when the  same Council can offer ‘concession card’ discounts of varying degrees on so many other Council services in the area –  [i.e. Council Rates – Bus operators operating under Council Tenders – Brolga Theatre – Maryborough and Hervey Bay Shows – and I am sure there are others.  In addition electricity suppliers offer discounts – as to private local business’s – tradies – Supermarkets – some Professional services etc ] –
  • What is the problem in expecting this Council to fall into line with every other like Council up and down the QLD coastline and offer pool discounts to the ‘concession card’ holders.
  • It is not like this group is going to the pool for leisure activity – they are going for exercise and the need to use the pool to assist with their mobility issues.

No – the Fraser Coast Regional Council are wrong and they also run the risk of the State Member for Local Government becoming further involved over the State Disabilities Act 2006 – and with reference to the following sections as a start … : [the Act can be downloaded via this link: ]

  • Part 1 – Division 2(6-8) [Objects]
  • Part 2 – 18 [Persons encouraged to have regard to human rights Principle]
  • Part 2 – 19(3-5) [Persons encouraged to have regard to human rights Principle]
  • Part 2 – Division 2(20–33) [Service delivery principles]
  • Part 3 – Section 34 [Minister may make disability service standards]

The FCRC presides over the highest per capita number of disability pensioners in QLD – yet it is a Council that does not recognise what this really means.  The pool provides such relief for and assists in so many ways to aid this group – they have never thought to help this group in this way –

Councils reasoning is they believe someone else should put together a program for this group of disadvantaged persons.  Yet late last year when a local carer tried to instigate a Learn to Swim program for a disability group – the Council chose to refused them access even though it was independently funded and staffed away from the pool staffing resources.

The Council does allow private physio’s to bring their clients to the pool because the pool does not offer this service.  They also allow privately conducted water aerobics and other exercise programs on a private ‘pay as you’ use arrangement the persons conducting the program.

The Council has very strange attitudes to the whole ambit of disabled and aged persons using the pool to keep fit and help with mobility issues – as long as you pay the general public price – you can use the pool.

That attitude does not run consistent with what it does for ‘concession card’ users in other Council services and amenities.  I dare say that the Council policy on this issue is flawed in a way that Council do not understand what the pool offers and can mean to those wanting affordable access to manage their mobility issues.

Have you had enough of this Council?  Contact your Local Member and give them a serve – their contact details can be found at this link:


To change the target away from the Council for a period as advised by a mentor – I turn to the positives of the week –

  • I will be making a few calls during the week to approach some people about serving on an interim steering Committee – looking for 4-5 people to serve until the first General meeting.
  • The Gladstone Aquatic Therapy Program President intends to make a trip to Hervey Bay to attend what looks like a delayed General Meeting to be held on the 5th May 2011.
  • It is very important that the meeting be delayed until this time – the lady who set up the Gladstone program now residing in Hervey Bay has indicated today that she is prepared to become part of the initial FCATA steering Committee – she is away for most of April.
  • Carol has been advising me on so many matters relating to this program – but not the Council bashing stuff – that she will be an invaluable asset to the program.   She is a qualified nurse and started the GATA program off over 22 years ago – she is very familiar with Council problems coming to terms with a program like this.
  • The steering Committee will be looking into the registration of the Association and its Incorporation – and will present a different face to Council to hopefully bring about changes to their resistant position.
  • I looked to the number of Respite Carers and their preliminary estimates and the number is approaching 200 – I have over 60 individual Interest Notifications and this is fast approaching the bottom side of initial target estimates of 300-500 in this initial interest stage.
  • This is but a fraction of the 5,500+ disability and the 14,000+ aged pensioners living in the area.  Hopefully the media stories on TV last night will carry the message out to a greater number of potential users of the program.

Cheers all ….

25th Mar – Another Comment Post …

This post was received moments ago and says it all – a great number of the people who have rang as a result of the Observer and Herald ads feel the same way:

from … Roz: … I cannot understand why in 2011, we have to beg council for a proposal of this sort. I have done my bit tonight and emailed all politicians, and councillors regarding the matter. But why is it necessary to do so?  Its a known fact that aqua therapy assists a great many people with chronic illness and disability. I thought we had got past having to beg for this sort of help a decade ago, apparently not.

I will not give my vote to any Politian or councillor that does not make a speedy progress towards this happening in fact I will physically lobby against them come next time they are begging for my vote.

Fraser Coast Regional Council, your pools belong to the constituents, a great many of which are either aged or have disabilities. You are not providing a service which is fair and reasonable to all, by denying access for this type of therapy to be used in the pools in this area.


Here … Here … I say and have been for two years with this Council.

  • My research uncovered a little know fact before the Maryborough and Fraser Coast Councils merged – Maryborough did offer ‘concession card’ discounts.  When they merged the Maryborough pool reverted to the Hervey Bay Council Fee structures. – no concession card discounts.  This was confirmed when I rang the Maryborough pool about their ‘concession card’ policy with respect to discounts before the Council mergers – the pool person I spoke to explained their admission prices confirming the discounts.
  • Another reason for this Council to be embarrassed comes in how the Gladstone Council support their Aqua Therapy program – the donate $40,000 worth of free pool time each year – and also allow all concession card holders ‘free’ access to their pool between 8:00 and 9:00 am Mon – Fri …  Their program has been running for over 20 years – and they too had troubles initially getting the Council support.
  • Another story about another Council stepping up and assisting their elderly and disabled came from a lady who has signed up as a participant – she has 20 years of physio experience as a nurse in a Gold Coast Program – she was very vocal about the FCRC and there reluctance to get involved – she will be a great asset to the program.

This Council has no option other then to re-consider their position – as the support for this program will continue to grow – and the current Councillors think about their re-election chances in March next year – perhaps the demographic group that this program will benefit may have some say in who they support and whether they become re-elected.

24th Mar Update …

Hi all,

Yesterday – (23rd Mar) –  I again tried to speak with Ms Desmond – the Acting CEO of the Fraser Coast Regional Council.  I was seeking to have some dialog with the CEO over the pool access costs for the FCATA program – and follow up the message I sent her on the 11th March. There has been no response to this message to date.  I was informed on the 18th Mar that the e-mail message had been received and printed out.

I was told that Ms Desmond was locked in meetings all day and that matters had backed up on the CEO – the reason for that backup was of course on the News last night about the Council workers going on strike.

Instead – I had a pleasant conversation with her Aid – Katherine.  She was very loyal and spoke of the CEO’s workload – and I then began to understand a few things.

Whilst this FCATA issue is an important issue from my and many others perspectives – it is one of  many issues the CEO is dealing with on a day to day basis.  She is under immense pressure as the ‘ACTING’ CEO  and the Councillors are extracting their pound of flesh as she tries to prove herself worthy.  But then with a Salary of $250,000 plus perks and superannuation – one would expect that the workload would be fierce.

During the conversation – her Aid let slip that there were over 1600 ‘unread e-mails’ in the CEO’s inbox – when I heard it I asked her to confirm the number – she did.

This spoke volumes as to where the FCATA sits on the CEO’s agenda.  The fact that no acknowledgment or auto response has been received suggests that someone needs to give the Acting CEO some help in making her understand that ‘auto-response’ messages at least give the sender of the e-mail some idea that it has been received – and that the matter has been logged.

Can you imagine what important information might be contained in those ‘unread e-mails’?  I don’t know how many messages she receives a day – but to read and act on 1600+ messages would take many days – perhaps weeks to deal will all the issues involved.  Surely some sort of delegation of responsibility would be in order to ensure that those ‘unread messages’ are dealt with in order of importance. This might just be an insight to why Council takes so long to respond or action anything.


For several months – since August last year and before – I have continued to pound this council for their inaction over pool admission prices for concession card holders.   That same battle is now taking place in the form of FCATA and trying to extract from Council a price for the FCATA and its future members to go to the pool.

In Oct/Nov last year – the Mayor showed immense disrespect and contempt for the concept of this program in the after math of a meeting I had with him in late Sept 2010.  At the end of that meeting he looked me in the eye – shook my hand – and told me and his Director Community Development who was also in attendence – ‘No – we will do something now to fix this!’

His offer came two weeks later via his Director Community Development – Peter Smith – in the form of a one off arrangement for me to to pay the GENERAL PUBLIC price for a yearly ticket on a monthly basis – the proviso being that I had to pay it at the Council chambers rather than the pool so as to avoid any public awareness of the arrangement. This was an individual offer to me personally when the Mayor knew I was approching him on the basis of all concession card holders.

In an interview with the Pool Manager two weeks ago – he told me that the pool had been offering this arrangement to all purchases of season tickets if they asked for it for several years.

That made the Mayors offer absolutely hollow – a joke – and an insult to all the efforts to convince him to the moral and logical reasons to make a fair decision for the ‘concession card’ group wanting to use the pool.  His offer was an ‘up yours’ response and needs to be exposed for the total lack of responsibility he showed in the position he holds. This man is not worthy to hold the office he does if this is the way he treats marginalised residents living in his constituency.

To provide further information about the Councillor response to the FCATA program – there has only been 3 Councillors respond to any of the 15-20 or so e-mails I have sent to All-Councillors about this program and the Admission price debate since Sept-Oct last year.

That is a pathetic response from a group of Councillors who preside over the 5,500+ disability pensioners in the region – the highest number per capita in QLD – and 1,400+ who under carer attention – and the total 30,000+ over 55’s who are approaching a period in their life where a program such as this will benefit them greatly into the future – and help them remain independent livers.

This Council are not forward looking people – they have no vision about what this program is about – nor what it can and will provide for so many isolated and marginalised residents in this region.  On a matter of such importance and significance for the Fraser Coast region – I would have imagined all the Councillors would have been enthused about a program like this and have made some sort of supportive contact.

Each of the State MemberMr Foley and Mr Sorensen and the Federal Member Mr Neville, have given their support for the program – why is it that council are last to come on board.

The program needs community support to attack this Council and make them aware of how they have misjudged the need for a program like this.  Please ring your Local Councillor and badger them – make them feel pressured to support this program – ask them the question whether they support the program and why not if they say ‘No’.

If they say they support the program – ask them what they are doing about supporting the program – be persistent and not let them fob you off – get angry – express your emotion  – make them accountable for their view.

Please if you do ring your Local Councillor or State/Federal Member – and get a response [see below for Phone Numbers] – log on to this website and tell the readers of this blog your story and the Councillor/Member you rang and their response …  the link to that submission is here – or to the right under Menu Links.


Phone Numbers:

Local Councillors:

To send an E-Mail to All Councillors – please this address:


Please Ring your Local Members …