Relief for club charges down the drain

Despite his best efforts, Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP was unable to persuade the State Government to agree to fee relief on water and sewage charges for recreation and sporting clubs.

Mr Brock moved an amendment to the Emergency Response Bill 2020 last week in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, to allow for the waiving of prescribed costs payable by recreation and sporting organisations in relation to sewage and water charges.

Voting on the amendment was tied and then lost through the casting vote of the chair, Member for Flinders, Peter Treloar.

“I then sent my amendment, via SA Best, to the Legislative Council and with help from other minor parties and the Labor Party the amendment was passed, however, the Government will still not support this part of the Bill,” Mr Brock said.

Mr Brock said sporting clubs were the lifeblood of rural communities and had an important part to play in community wellbeing.

“During this pandemic, we have all had to make enormous adjustments to our lives, which have left sports clubs high and dry when it comes to future income.

“The lack of income from gate takings from events and fundraisers is leaving these organisations, which are all managed by volunteers, in a precarious position and could impact on their future viability.

“What I don’t want to see, after this pandemic is over and we try and return to our normal lives, is the closure of sporting organisations and clubs because they have simply been unable to make their finances stretch to keep themselves afloat when they have received no income,” Mr Brock said.

“It would devastate the fabric of our country communities and I urge the government to reconsider its position on this amendment.”