Dubbo, Wellington pools propose increase in season passes, lane fees

Increasing the line hire fees at Dubbo Aquatic Leisure Centre will make swimming even more marginalised, says a concerned Dubbo parent.

Included in the Dubbo Regional Council draft 2019/20 budget, is an increase in pool fees for swimming clubs.

The cost of season passes will also increase to align Dubbo, Wellington and Geurie pools. For a family, a season pass it will cost $514. In Wellington it's a proposed increase from $260.

However, the $514 pass will provide access to all three aquatic centres.

Access can be given to all three pools because they will be managed internally by council.

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Luke Wilson, who is the father of four swimming club members, said swimming was a life-saving skill. He said swimming clubs didn't only provide a pathway for elite swimmers but taught a skill for life.

However, by increasing the costs to be involved with a swimming club, Mr Wilson said it would restrict he number of people learning those skills.

"I would love to think it could be a sport that all children are involved with, regardless of their socio-economic background. Unfortunately that is not the case," he said.

"Swimming is already an incredibly expensive sport to participant in. Walking in the pool is a slug to the pocket.

"By the time we talk about the cost of club membership and coaching fees we are talking abut a sport that is really limited to a certain section of our community: those lucky enough to have the parents with the motivation and the wallets to make that opportunity possible for them. Increasing lane hire fees is just going to make that level higher."

The draft council budget - which includes the proposed changes for the pools - was on public exhibition for 28 days. During that time members of the public were encouraged to make comment.

Those comments will be considered by the Dubbo Regional councillors before changes are made to the budget and it's given the final approval.

Mr Wilson said the budget should reflect the values and priority of the community.

"I would suggest this is not an area we use as something to grab more money from those who can afford it at the expense of those who definitely can't," he said.

The Wellington pool is undergoing construction and is expected to be finished by November. More than $8.9 million has been spent upgrading the facility.

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