This fourth Member Update is provided to the WA Basketball family, relating to the proposed cost to be imposed upon us by the Government to remain at the WA Basketball Centre.
MEETING WITH THE MINISTER
- A meeting with the Minister for Sport and Recreation was held on Wednesday 17 October. At this meeting, your Board put forward Basketball WA’s position which was that it would only agree to the current rate ($13.84 ex GST or $15.22 incl GST) for a 5 year period, indexed to CPI, with a 5 year option.
- The Minister asked BWA to seriously consider an offer whereby the current rate of $13.84 be fixed to 30 June 2014 and BWA then move progressively to a rate being a 60% discount to the Venues West determined “commercial rate”. The current commercial rate determined by Venues West is $18.45 ex GST or $20.30 incl GST.
CORRESPONDENCE AND DISCUSSIONS WITH THE MINISTER/MINISTERS OFFICE
- Subsequent to the meeting with the Minister, the BWA Board put to the Minister a very reasonable compromised position as follows:
- The court hire rate be fixed at $13.84 ex GST or $15.22 incl GST to 5 April 2015 which is the date the BWA lease expires on the office space at the WABC.
- That BWA be immediately permitted to on-sell courts to non-basketball users. This would provide an opportunity for BWA to try and recoup some of the extra court hire costs but also maximise the use of court usage at the WABC, particularly during the day which has significant “down time”.
- That a working group or “task force” be formed to explore a more effective and efficient model that enables BWA to operate from the WABC in a financially sustainable way whilst reducing the overall cost to government in operating the facility. That an independent Chair be appointed to this working group.
- BWA would continue to operate under the existing licence agreement until such time as a new operating model was agreed.
- Should a new model not be agreed by 5 April 2015, the existing agreement and the rate would continue until such time as agreement was reached.
- The Minister in response has confirmed his support for:
- The court hire rate being fixed to the current rate to 5 April 2015
- That a working group be formed to explore a more effective and efficient model of BWA operating from the WABC and the issue of BWA on-selling courts to non basketball users be included in these discussions. The Minister has also said that he will provide funding to support this initiative.
The Ministers Office has also advised that the Minister expects BWA to sign a new licence agreement that incorporates various policies and procedures, including Booking Procedure, Priority of Use Policy and Fundraising Procedure and that a new licence agreement include a clause to the effect that post 5 April 2015, a rate not less than $13.84 nor exceeding 40% of the published commercial rate at the time be agreed.
- Your Board wrote to the Minister on 5 November thanking him for his support and confirming the very reasonable compromise offered by BWA, being:
- Subject to any future co-management model being agreed, Basketball WA would pay a court hire rate at the WA Basketball Centre of $13.84 (excl GST) from 1 July 2012 to 5 April 2015 inclusive, upon the terms and conditions (apart from the rate) of the existing Licence Agreement.
- That the establishment and funding of a working party to further develop a co-management proposal for the WA Basketball Centre be proceeded with and that the Minister appoint an independent Chair.
- That the other matters with respect to court hire rate post 5 April 2015, and on-selling of courts for non-basketball use be discussed in the working party setting.
- In subsequent discussions with the Minister’s Office, we are now of the understanding that the Minister requires that a new licence agreement be signed.
- Your Board is concerned that some of the clauses in the proposed new licence agreement such as the Priority of Use Policy, could see basketball disadvantaged in operating from the WABC. For example basketball having to give up court space for other sports or Venues West events, causing considerable inconvenience to basketball participants and potential financial loss to basketball organisations. This is on the back of BWA already having to pay an extra $107,000 per annum for court hire.
- BWA is therefore content to operate under the terms of the existing licence agreement (where the Priority of Use Policy has not been agreed) but paying the new rate until a co-management model can be investigated and hopefully agreed. Many of the outstanding licence agreement issues may be resolved under a co-management model.
WHERE TO NOW
We understand the Minister has been busy in Parliament over the last week, this being the last sitting week for the year.
Your Board believes the compromise put to the Minister is extremely reasonable and that the priority must now be the investigation of a co-management model. To this end, the working group needs to be established immediately.
We are awaiting the Ministers response which we understand will be received shortly.
Thank you again to all of our Members for your tremendous support. The Board and Staff of BWA appreciate the outstanding efforts you have made to be heard on this critical issue for the sustainability of our sport in WA.
We will be sure to update you again once the matter has progressed.