I must confess I was a little surprised at the comments in the local paper by some people and organisations over fees and available times to use Hensley Field. The athletes, who describe themselves as “elite”, wanted to use the field when the kids from Little Athletics are using it.
Little A’s have been using Hensley for a long time and we’ve supported them. Were we to throw the kids off because the “elites” wanted the track? The answer was no, resoundingly no. The request to Council indicated there was a group of 10. If so, the cost per athlete would be $12.50 per hour – not an outrageous amount. The fees for Hensley were set with consultation with a wide range of people and are comparable with similar facilities. Council also has a responsibility to our residents and ratepayers – to allow the use of local facilities with priority to locals (surprisingly the number of organisations outside the City who want special preference) and to ensure ratepayers’ funds (funds that pay for the facility) are used properly. For that combination, we make no apology.