Trainers angry as council decides their fate

27 Feb
Personal trainers Marcus Burgess and Janet Denton from Heart Start Personal Training

Personal trainers Marcus Burgess and Janet Denton from Heart Start Personal Training

By Ben Murphy, Bond University Journalism Student

Personal trainers are angry about being left in the dark while the Gold Coast City Council considers licensing fees that may see their boot camps destroyed.

A policy of charging trainers a fee for the use of public parks could be back on the agenda after being voted down in a heated council debate last year.

Division 12 councillor Greg Betts said council officers were  working on a report that focused on commercial use of parks, and which may include licence fee recommendations.

Personal trainer Marcus Burgess said that trainers were frustrated and desperately wanted clarity from council.

“We just want to know what council want,” he said.

“Where is it going to start and where is it going to stop?

“Does it mean that we can’t take a client for a walk around the streets?”

The report is in response to complaints about training groups taking up excessive workout and footpath space in public parks.

Burleigh resident Christina Badgley regularly walks along the beachfront and said fitness groups did not bother her.

“I guess if trainers are making profits maybe they should pay a small fee, but to be honest I just think it’s good to see people out exercising,” she said.

Mr Burgess said he was not aware of council having consultation with personal trainers, and that any charge over a few hundred dollars a year would be excessive.

“If Council just come and talk with us, we can work out a solution where everyone is happy,” he said.

A policy motion put forward last year failed by one vote, after a fierce debate that saw councillors argue over the issue for around 90 minutes.

The vote failed due to concerns about an appropriate level of charge, how to enforce the policy, and whether only parks should be affected.

Council could not confirm when the report would be finalised or what potential charges may be.

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