Aqua Energy, GRSC fees reduced

David Braithwaite

FEES and charges at Aqua Energy and the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex in Sale will be temporarily reduced because of restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

Acknowledging the affects the restrictions have had on services, and to encourage participation in physical activities, Wellington Shire Council has approved temporary fee relief.

Members of Aqua Energy can apply for a 15 per cent discount on membership fees while services are limited.

Fees will remain as they were last financial year for non-members to use facilities while full services aren’t offered.

At the GRSC, associations and hockey clubs will receive a 15 per cent discount for at least the remainder of 2020, and potentially into the first half of 2021.

Aqua Energy and GRSC were facilities closed in line with state government directions from late March to late June, and remain restricted in their allowed usage because of the ongoing pandemic.

Councillor Ian Bye said council had to help local sporting organisations where it could.

“It’s been hard for them,” he said.

“They haven’t been able to run their sausage sizzles, their raffles and collect the member fees for a full season, and even get advertising to help their clubs running into the future.

“This is a contribution that we’re offering to our patronage and our clubs to help them continue operating.”

Temporary fee relief to Aqua Energy members and casual users will cost council $48,000 to $58,000.

Partially offsetting this will be the saving of casual salaries through changes to operating hours.

Applying the 15 per cent discount at GRSC for all of the 2020-21 financial year will cost council about $13,000, but will cost it $7000 if the discount is only applied to associations for the remainder of the year and to hockey clubs for this season.