User-pays system to roll out across Lake Macquarie tennis courts

16/06/2019 Posted by admin

NEW LEASEE: Whitebridge Tennis Club coach Richard McMurray.WHITEBRIDGE Tennis Club will be one of the first in Lake Macquarie to be part of the council’s new club management system.

A council report stated the user-pays system was introduced due to fee disputes between club committees and coaches who hired council-owned courts.

Whitebridge Tennis Club coach Richard McMurray will lease the club under the new arrangement in the new year.

As a coach for the past 22 years, he believes the system needed to be introduced due to ageing volunteers on committees.

“There has been a lack of young people putting their hand up for volunteer positions,” he said.

Previously, volunteer committees managed council-owned courts and reported financial and administrative matters to the council.

Under the new system, coaches can take out a five-year lease and bypass the club committee.

They can then set their own fees, which the council expects will align more closely with commercial rates and hopes it will ensure the club’s viability.

Lessees must pay $465 a year for administration and an annual amount towards a facility sinking fund for the club’s upkeep.

This is calculated based on replacement costs for different types of courts, ranging from $2250 to $7200. These amounts are set by Tennis NSW.

Each coach’s contribution to a facility sinking fund also depends on court usage.

Lessees also pay the land, water and electricity rates as well as maintenance.

Mr McMurray said rates were one of the main concerns for coaches, who were considering taking out a lease.

“Some respected coaches are talking about walking away because they are worried that the lease system may not be financially viable and this is a concern for tennis in the region,” he said.

He said there would be minimal fee changes at Whitebridge.

Keith Williams, of the privately owned Lake Macquarie Tennis Centre, believes the new system is fairer.

“[The system] will bring all tennis providers onto a more equal playing field, where all parties compete to provide the best service,” he said.

Eleebana and Croudace Bay tennis clubs will also be part of the new system as of January 1.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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