Member Update Two: “Call Foul on Offensive Charge”
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Member Update Two: “Call Foul on Offensive Charge”

“Call Foul on Offensive Charge”
WA Basketball Centre – Cost of Court Hire

This second Member Update is provided to you, the WA Basketball family, relating to the proposed cost to be imposed upon us by the Government to remain at the WA Basketball Centre.

In our previous Member Update we advised that your Board had asked the Minister to index the current court hire rate to CPI for a 5 year period. This was in an attempt to limit potential increases to all basketball users. To agree to the Government proposal would have placed all Directors of BWA in breach of their financial and fiduciary duties in relation to the funds that we hold in trust for you.

The Minister has refused to index the current court hire rate to CPI for 5 years. In addition, because we do not agree with the Minister, we have now been formally advised that the High Performance Funding for the sport that has been properly negotiated with the Department of Sport and Recreation over the past 4 years is being withheld unless we sign the agreement. This will effectively prevent us from providing expert coaching and sports science services to our aspiring young athletes just one month after our Australian Olympians have returned from London. It is totally inappropriate to link these two issues.

What does this mean for you?

  1. Whilst we applaud the Government and the Minister for providing a World Class International facility, it means that you, the basketball family, mums and dads, grandparents, participants, supporters and spectators, are being asked to fund this decision when all we expected was a replacement for our previous home at Perry Lakes.
  2. The entire Basketball Community across the State will be hit with increased costs in order to meet the Government shortfall in operating the WA Basketball Centre. Basketball WA will be forced to pass on the full amount of any increases to users. State Championship and Country Championship fees for 2012/13 have already had to be raised to meet the additional $107,000 court hire cost imposed by the Minister this year. These will be raised again whenever the Government decides to increase the rate in the future, estimated to be at least another $100,000 from 1 July 2013. Who knows what after that? It is regretted that financial planning cannot be undertaken for the sport post June 2013 – something your Directors of Basketball WA are most concerned about.
  3. Basketball WA will need to cut basketball programs and support to Associations and Affiliated Clubs. It will mean having to cut our growth and development programmes, particularly those in country areas that have ever increasing travel requirements and costs. Pathways for participants will be severely impacted.
  4. Unless we immediately agree to the Government proposal, our aspiring young Western Australian athletes who rely on the High Performance programmes to prepare them for National and International competition, will have to put their aspirations and Olympic dreams on hold.

Call to Action – What can you do?

Basketball WA now calls upon ALL of its registered members, some 26,000 of you, and your families and friends to take the following action:

  1. Write to your local Member of Parliament, forward a copy of both Member Updates and cc the Premier and the Minister for Sport and Recreation. Inform your local Member of the unacceptable situation the sport finds itself in. The financial viability of your sport is in jeopardy. Arrange to meet with your local Member. Ask your local Member to take action by raising this matter with the Premier and the Minister for Sport and Recreation. Ask that the Government immediately review this decision with a view to finding a far more equitable and realistic outcome for our sport. We do have alternatives that can be a win for both Government and our sport!
  2. Contact various Newspaper and Radio organisations and make them aware of the situation the Government has placed the sport in. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.
  3. Log on to the Facebook Page “Call Foul on Offensive Charge” to get up to date information and have your say.

Your Board has been trying to resolve this matter since the WA Basketball Centre was handed over to Venues West to “manage the facility”. We did have an excellent working relationship with the Department of Sport and Recreation prior to this. We have willingly worked with them since, and they have been striving with us to develop alternative programmes aimed at more effectively managing the centre whilst minimising the ultimate cost to Government, without essentially bankrupting our sport.

We have written to the Minister expressing on your behalf, our disappointment with his position.

Now it is your turn to be heard!

Click here to read the first member update, released on August 17.

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