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Shire’s booking blunder costs club

By Rebecca Peppiatt

SHIRE of Mundaring has been forced to apologise over an embarrassing triple booking blunder that left a community group out of pocket and seeking compensation.

Two football clubs had locked in games at the Mundaring Oval on August 15, the same day the Perth Hills Artisan Markets were on at the nearby Arena.

While Hills Rangers Football Club was kicked off the Oval and sent to play in Parkerville, Hills Football Association (HFA) were given the go ahead to play their two semi-finals matches at the venue.

But the popularity of the Artisan markets, which attracted more than 3000 people, meant HFA organisers were unable to collect their usual gate fees, a valued income revenue stream for the club.

The issue was brought to Shire councillors at Tuesday’s monthly meeting, where staff admitted there was a “system error” and offered the club an ex-gratia payment for loss of earnings of $1040.

Councillors voted unanimously to support the motion and discussed how council could avoid the same thing happening again.

“I love the fact that we’ve put our hand up here and recognised that we’ve got some learning to do and we’ve not quite done the right thing here,” Cr Burbidge said.

“I believe innovation is one of the core values of the Shire.

“We’ve listened to our community group in this regard and helped them out.”

HFA usually makes revenue from car park entries to their events at $8 per head, but with so many visitors to the Arena it was hard to collect fees for the semi-finals matches when the Artisan markets had no gate fee.

HFA made a request to council for reimbursement to cover operational losses.

“This seems like a minor amount for us, but it’s a big amount for a community group,” Cr Jones said.

“They were looking to see if we could cover their loss and I think it’s a good thing to do.”

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