Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. EN48/08 Page 0



Arcadia Pony Club submission for Rural Sports Facility License Fees 2009-2011


In preparing our submission to council for license fees a number of commercial considerations have been taken into account to arrive at the proposed license fee.


-     Current vs proposed operating charges

-     Proposed membership growth and associated income from such

-     Decreased revenue raising opportunities to run Zone or multi-Pony Club days due to reduce parking at new site

-     Capital expenditure depleting existing funding for Arcadia Pony Club in order to move to new grounds

-     Foregone projects due to additional capital expenditure on storage facilities, day stalls and shade structures

-     Foregone sponsorship opportunities

-     Current financial climate and impact on member discretionary spending

-     Increase in insurance fees due to equipment now being stored on public usage land



In consultation with our members, Arcadia Pony Club would like to propose that the licence fee is set at $2718 per annum fixed for the 2009/2010/2011 with the only increase being an adjustment for CPI on an annualised basis.


An explanation of each commercial consideration is detailed below:-


Current vs proposed operating charges

Council have provided confirmation that the new license fee will be an all inclusive fee to encompass many of the operating costs currently borne as individual fees to Arcadia Pony Club.  It is the Pony Club’s understanding that the following items are now included within the license fee:


-     Exclusive use of grounds for 24 occasions per annum

-     Garbage and waste collection

-     Mowing, garden and bridle trail maintenance

-     Water

-     Electricity

-     Cleaning of amenities

-     General maintenance of infrastructure


If Arcadia Pony Club were to remain at Johnson Road rather than move to the RSF, the following operating costs would apply for the coming year.  These figures are the actual operating costs for 2008.   We propose that the new fees do not exceed that which are being incurred currently.


 Current facility related fees - Johnson Road 2008

Annual Lease fee @$90pcm


Garbage Collection








Mowing consumables


Mowing repairs


Cleaning of amenities


Total annual fees 2009




Proposed membership growth and associated income from such

Currently our membership base and fees associated with such form 80% of our annual income stream. 


Our membership over the past 3 years reached a peak of 68 riding members in 2007 and then went into decline in 2008 and 2009.   This decline has been attributed to outgrowing our current grounds where former members moving to other clubs have sighted lack of facilities as being the main reason they have chosen to move to a neighbouring club.


A program to attract and retain new members once we move to RSF will commence to increase our baseline membership and baseline income.


However, as the council proposed fee of $3850 per annum represents a 35+% increase over and above our current operating costs and we cannot grow our membership by a corresponding 35+% amount initially but only in a staged approach.


We propose to increase our membership by 10% year on year over the next 3 years to help meet these increased charges in 2013.




Depletion of funds due to unexpected basic infrastructure capital expenditure and foregone sponsorship opportunities

Arcadia Pony Club has had an active fundraising drive over the past 3 years to fund projects required at the new grounds such as a cross country course which was projected to be more than $20,000 in Pony Club funds and additional sponsorship from the community to construct.


Whilst Arcadia Pony Club understands the councils need for funds and sponsorship for the next 3 years to be spent on infrastructure, we will have no opportunity to tap existing sponsors or funds for the next 3 years. All existing funding has been consumed and all future sponsorship bought forward to fund storage facility, day stalls and shade structures.


It will take at least 3 years to restore our capital to the levels we have currently pre-instrastruture spend.




Decrease in revenue raising competitions due to limited parking space at RSF

Currently we are able to run Zone events or events where there is participation by multiple pony clubs at Johnson Road as we have additional parking available to us via council. 


Currently we run 3-4 such events annually to fund capital equipment purchases or capital projects such a building a cross country course.


Over time opportunities may arise for alternative parking arrangements to be resolved to recommence such events at RSF but in the short term understanding the community sensitivities to parking and noise these cannot be contemplated or relied upon for additional revenue.




Increase in premium for coverage of equipment on a public land vs exclusive use land.

Arcadia Pony Club has a significant investment in equipment such as show-jumps, trailers, tractors, sporting equipment etc.  Such equipment is currently insured against fire, theft and damage.  Our insurer has informed us that by moving this equipment to land which is classified as public use rather than exclusive use this will double our current premium.   Whilst this is a side effect of moving to new grounds insurance of our equipment is essential and this is an additional cost that we will need to find significant funds to meet.




Current financial climate and subsequent impact on household discretionary spending

Whilst at this stage no one can predict the impact of the worsening global financial crisis one of the first areas to diminish will be household discretionary spending.  For Pony Club horse riding and associated activities are fairly and squarely in the discretionary spending category. 


Whilst we have done a forward projection for the next 5 years to ensure the Arcadia Pony Club remains financially viable these projections may be impacted lower than expected discretionary spending on Pony Club related activities.