Ian Bleys, outside the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre, wants pensioner discounts for season passes.
Ian Bleys, outside the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre, wants pensioner discounts for season passes. Alistair Brightman

Pension price same at council pool

DISABILITY pensioner Ian Bleys is at war with Fraser Coast Regional Council over season ticket prices at council pools.

He wants discounted pool passes for pensioners but said despite campaigning for almost two years, the council wasn’t budging.

Mr Bleys said all council-managed pools between Brisbane and Mackay offered season pass discounts for concession card holders.

He said council staff were asked to look into the budget impact any discount would cause but their report did not address the budget issue and council voted not to make any changes in August last year.

Council said daily entrance fees were half price for pensioners, cutting the $3.70 fee to $1.85.

“The full year season pass is $293 – applicable to everyone,” a spokesperson said.

“Visiting the pool four times a week for a full year would cost $1.40 a visit using the season pass.

“The council will review its fees and charges as part of its budget deliberations and due consideration will be given to pool entrance fees and the needs of the community.”

She said the council had also applied to Disability Services Queensland to introduce a companion card to the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre to allow the companions, of people with a disability who needed significant assistance, to enter the pool for free.

Mr Bleys said he had calculated that a 50 per cent season pass discount for disability pensioners would cost a total of just $1000 a year and if 100 more people joined because of the discount it would mean more revenue for the pool and a healthier community with less impact on doctors, hospitals and ambulances.

“They’re just not thinking this through,” he said.

“They’re just putting up this brick wall wherever I go.”

Mr Bleys said he asked for the detailed budgets of the Hervey Bay and Maryborough pools but the mayor refused so he had appealed the decision with the State Government.

He also said the council had no interest in applying for Federal Government funding to establish an aqua-therapy program for pensioners and disabled people but council said it was applying for funding for a suite of physical activity, healthy eating and proven community-based lifestyle programs.

“Hervey Bay has the highest number of disability pensioners per capita in Queensland,” Mr Bleys said.

“It also has a very high number of retirees and other marginalised minorities who could all do with aqua-type exercise to help improve their mobility issues and social aspect in life.”

To gauge the level of interest in an aqua-therapy program, Mr Bleys has set up an online questionnaire here.

“They’re just not thinking this through. They’re just putting up this brick wall wherever I go.”

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