WA Sutherland Shire Council Leisure Centre Ban

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14 March 2015
My husband and I feel our family is being targeted by our local shire, Sutherland Shire Council, and leisure centre staff.

We are both swim coaches with our local club and our teen son swims in the same club.
*The staff at the leisure centre have listened to private complaints or concerns by us and emailed them to centre management (at managements verbal request).
*My husband was banned for two weeks for asking for another lane. The staff member said my husband harassed him even though witnesses provided statements advising it didn't happen.
*My husband and I both asked a coach from another club using the pool to stop whistling as it was annoying, hurt my ears as I am partially deaf and interfered with our swimmers. The coach (also a staff member) placed a formal complaint and another staff member (a friend of ours who is 20) told me he wouldn't tell the truth as the other coach and he are friends. My husband wasn't banned due to lack of evidence.
*When the centre manager rang re the item directly above I sent a text message to the staff member/friend asking why he lied and to keep him and his family away from mine.
*I have now been banned from the centre indefinitely.
*The staff member I sent the text to has also approached my teen (14) and accused him of flirting with our female coach (17) and of being a ladies man and doing alright with the girls. I believe this was said to provoke a response. The staff member is also dating a minor.
*Even after the whistling coach being told he is not able to whistle, he still does which we believe is also being used to provoke us and have us banned from the centre.
*Our swimming club is shocked as they have witnessed the events and also believe we are being targeted, but none of us are sure why.
My question is this. Do we have any recourse? I believe my ban is unfair and am unsure on what to do and how to get the staff and management to stop targeting our family. There have been instances recorded of two other clubs who have caused trouble and their coaches abusing staff, which we haven't done, with no one else being banned. This is causing a huge amount of embarrassment and distress and could, in future, affect our employment chances with other clubs. It is also distressing to my son as one minute staff talk to him and the next they don't.


Well-Known Member
10 February 2015
Hi there,

What outcome are you seeking? Do you want an apology? Do you want to be allowed to return to the leisure centre? Or is it something else that you're after? That will determine what your next steps should be.
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Hi leef,

I'm sure you are probably already familiar with the Sutherland Shire Leisure Centre terms and conditions which is on their website. It states that certain rules are to be adhered to and reserves a right to exclude patrons and cancel memberships without warning or notice "for inappropriate threatening or harassing behaviour, damaging equipment or facilities ...in the Sutherland Shire Leisure Centres."

You agreed to these terms and conditions upon obtaining membership at the centre, and therefore it would appear that the centre is entitled to exclude you if it deems that you have contravened its rules. There does not appear to be any provision for a decision review or appeal in the terms and conditions, and I am unaware of any exterior means by which you could obtain this.

The only civil actions I can think of that you may be able to bring against them is if you can establish some basis upon which you are being discriminated against, and provide evidence of that, or show that you or your husband have been defamed or your reputations tarnished by something that has been said to other people. As pointed out by Ivy though, which avenue you take depends what remedy you are after.

Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014
I agree with the above.
I would add however that, because it's a Council, then those T&Cs are subject to the usual norms of Administrative Law - such as the right to be heard, and to be given a bona fide opportunity to address allegations and/or decisions that may be adverse to you.
On that basis, you could perhaps look first at the Dispute Resolution arrangements (if they exist).
Failing that, NCAT may be an option.