State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has called on Newcastle City Council to explain why schools are now being charged more to use the local swimming pools for school swimming carnivals.
Local schools who use either Wallsend, Lambton or Mayfield pools are being slugged with a $55 per hour “Lifeguard Hire” fee by the private operator but schools who use the Council run pool at Beresfield are not charged the fee to use the pool.
Students are charged an entry fee and parents are now being forced to cover the cost of the additional fees being charged by the private operator, more than doubling the costs for some parents.
Newcastle Council outsourced the Wallsend, Lambton and Mayfield pools in 2014 and assurances were given that no changes to the fee structure would occur.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“Newcastle Council needs to explain why its residents are being slugged with these additional charges for their kids to attend school swimming carnivals.”
“I know some local schools are using buses to transport their kids to Beresfield because it is cheaper than using the pool at Wallsend.”
“Council gave assurances that the fee structure would not change, but here we have Beresfield Pool only charging an entry fee and the private operator slugging students with an additional fee.”
“It’s not good enough and Council should make sure that students are not slugged twice.”
Quotes attributable to Cr Jason Dunn, Deputy Mayor, Newcastle Council
“The situation with school children in the western suburbs being slugged by the private operator, certainly does not surprise me.”
“Labor Councillors did not support the privatisation of our inland pools, and I stated at the time that entry fees would increase as a result.”
“This is an issue I will certainly be taking up with Council.”