Netball association president Felicity Browne says there are still some council issues to be sorted out with Gympie Regional Council.
Netball association president Felicity Browne says there are still some council issues to be sorted out with Gympie Regional Council. Renee Pilcher

Netballers win water bill dispute

GYMPIE region netball players have had a partial win with Gympie Regional Council, in a dispute over water use, lease boundaries, inundation and vehicle damage.

The water use and lease boundary parts of the dispute appear to have been settled with a committee recommendation to the council that it should refund $742.43 wrongly charged for over-consumption of water on property which turns out to be not within the association’s lease area.

But damage to gutters in adjacent Hyne St, with resultant inundation and erosion of the car park near the netball group’s Gympie headquarters, remains an unresolved issue.

And the association appears to have lost the argument over truck damage to one of its netball courts, which can no longer be used, because no photographic evidence is available.

Gympie and Districts Netball Association secretary Bernadette Matthews said yesterday that the association would welcome a committee decision to recommend repayment of $742.43, which had been charged for “over-consumption caused by a leaking toilet”, despite the toilet block not being part of the association’s lease.

She said the issue had caused a lot of inconvenience for association members, with letters back and forth and deputations to councillors and staff.

“We’re a community group. We’ve all got work and families and this all disrupts us,” she said.

A staff report to councillors said there had been conflicting advice given to the association, with one section telling its members that they were responsible for the amenities block and another telling them they were not.

The association also claimed it had asked the council to repair a leaking toilet in the block, but had not been successful until recently.

A council plumber reported that the club’s water meter fed the toilet block on its way to the netball club house and, while not on the netball lease, was predominantly used by association members.

A letter from the association to this week’s council Corporate Governance and Finance Committee meeting described the long path to the partial win over recent years.

“We are one of four tenants at Excelsior Reserve and are not responsible for the toilet block.”

In the letter, Ms Matthews expresses disappointment that council staff had neglected to check with the council’s own Corporate Services section, which said the association was not responsible for the toilet block.

Ms Matthews said the association was also concerned at the condemned Cooloola Car Club building, which it said should be removed urgently.

She said water consumption at the toilets had increased sharply after July 1 last year, resulting in much higher charges.

The increase was caused by “excessive water loss in the single male toilet”.

She said the repairs were not made until after April 18.

Gympie Times


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