The head of Victoria’s peak sporting body Vicsport today said the 200% rise in gas prices for some New South Wales swimming pools should alert all levels of Government that community based sporting clubs could face financial problems with excessive increases in energy prices.
Several New South Wales councils are furious after gas prices soared by more than 200 percent, an increase of over $500,000 in one case, forcing local swimming pools to drop water temperatures and increase their prices. Click Here for Story
Chairman of Vicsport, Margot Foster AM said “Swimming pools and major sporting complexes in Victoria, many run by local councils, are, or will be, significantly and adversely affected by energy price hikes, which could result in councils and operators raising entry fees and membership costs which has already happened in New South Wales.
“This is a serious problem which will undoubtedly, and soon, spread to Victoria and other States.
“To have electricity and/ or gas prices in an upward spiral with no regulatory control as power generation facilities close down is a situation where SPORT as an industry in Victoria needs to be considered in overall energy policies now under discussion.”
Currently in Victoria over 3.25 million Victorians play sport or are engaged in active recreation which involves 580,000 volunteers, 100 Sporting Associations and 16,000 clubs. *1
Ms Foster said “It is important for Government to develop an energy policy with an adequate and ongoing budget provision for Sport at both a Federal and State level to cope with increased energy costs.
“Every sporting club uses electricity and/or gas to maintain and operate their venues and those with night activities, using floodlights for example, for training for football, cricket, soccer, tennis, basketball and netball; all need some certainty with energy costs.
Ms Foster said sport is not just about organising sporting events; it helps underpin Victoria’s and Australia’s health policies with healthy activity and is continually used to promote awareness of multiple health issues, not least the capacity of sport to help with the mental wellbeing of the community.
“Sporting clubs are also a vital network in dealing with social issues such as isolation, depression, mentoring of young people and the teaching of life skills of communication and teamwork.”
Margot Foster AM, Chairman, Vicsport – Mobile: 0414 230 213
Ron Smith, Media Communications, Vicsport – Mobile: 0417 329 201
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