By DANIELLE GALVIN
THE $2 entry fee into the Cardinia Life stadium will be scrapped following a decision by Cardinia Shire councillors on Monday night.
Councillor Collin Ross moved the motion at the council meeting and said on game days the line of people waiting to pay to get in was so long it extended out the door.
“For those who have had their children play sport will know about the entry fee,” he said.
“As the population is growing we have found that parents with three or four children have to pay $2 each time and in the end the line is nearly out the front door.”
The entry fee will be added to the team sheet fees.
Cr Ross said the decision would mean the stadium would be filled with parents, friends, brothers and sisters who wanted to watch the young sports stars play. “This change has taken four or five years to come about,” he said.
“If it doesn’t work I will have mud on my face because I have been calling for it for so long – but then so has Cr Graeme Moore so he can share in some of that.
“I think the best thing is that it will stop the dumping of children at the front door, where the parents might have to leave for an hour and come back to pick up their child rather than coming in.”
Cr Moore urged his fellow councillors to support the motion for the betterment of the shire’s major sporting and recreational facility.
He said there was a plan for a new design of the entrance of the stadium.
“It can be a hell of a mess on team night – you’ve almost got to see it to believe it,” he said.
Cr Jodie Owen spoke from personal experience as a sports coach and said there was “nothing sadder” than when a child reached a milestone and didn’t have their parents there to see them achieve it.
She said for some the entry fee seemed small but for other families, the decision would mean the chance to come and watch their children enjoying sport.
“If you’re a single parent with a few kids, that’s an extra $8 a week,” she said.
In a survey undertaken in 2010, 48.9 per cent of stadium teams voted in favour of an increased team sheet while 51.9 per cent wanted to keep the current fees.
Cr Ross said there were 482 teams registered in the winter, 561 teams registered in the summer and more than 1 million visitors annually.
He said the decision was “wonderful” for the families in the shire.
The motion was carried unanimously.