The ongoing saga with Australia's elite level netballers and Netball Australia continues, with the dispute over how much they are paid continuing and the AWU continuing to show support after the peak body for elite netballers establishing an affiliation in September of last year.
Fully endorsed by the AWU's national secretary, Bill Shorten, the ANPA (Australian Netball Players Assocation) are claiming that more than half of the players receive under $4,000 each and the highest paid player receives somewhere in the vicinity of $15,000 for an entire season.
This is under the current deal put forward by Netball Australia to the APNA, but the players are not happy and if negotations fail a strike may occur.
Former Melbourne Phoenix and Australian goal shooter Eloise-Southby Halbish, says that while the players are disappointed they want to show support to players who are at the raw end of the pay scale.
"We are disappointed as players, but we didn't want to strike at the beginning of the season because new sponsors have come on board and we wanted to show our support, and also for the fans, but we are unified," she told The Age.
Since retirement, Southby-Halbish has been working as a specialist commentator's on the ABC television's netball coverage and further involving herself as a director of the APNA.
Netball Australia's general manager netball operations Jon Bissett believes that the gap between the players and his organisation is becoming smaller.
"We're fully in support of the players getting improved conditions but, unfortunately, it's not an easy situation," Bissett told the Herald Sun on Friday.
"Netball Australia doesn't actually employ the players, the state associations do.
"We're trying to move that into a single sort of payment system. We'd love the girls to be full-time professionals but, unfortunately, at this time the sport doesn't have the revenue to support that.
"I think we're fairly close though. I think they understand that we're not a super rich sport."
"There are no television rights paid and we've got some sponsorship from the Commonwealth Bank, but not near the magnitude of men's sport."
Currently, Netball Australia pays for travel and training costs who play for any of the eight teams who compete in the elite Commonwealth Bank Tropy competition but many players believe is well below what other players are being paid in competition in other countries.
Late last week, a sponsor of National Bank Cup team the Capital Shaker's revealed that he had made an offer to star Silver Ferns goaler Irene Van Dyk to the tune of $170,000 to move from the Waiakto/Bay of Plenty Magic to play with the Shakers for two seasons.
For too long, netball at the elite level in this country has struggled for recognition in the media and other outlets even if it is has one of the largest participation rates of any sport at the grass roots level in this country.
It's about time that the players who play at the elite level are financially rewarded with at least a minimum wage and although Netball Australia is not in the position to pay the players more, it makes for a good way to reward some very committed professional sports people who play mostly for the love of the game.
The Commonwealth Bank Trophy moves into round two this week, with the Melbourne Phoenix playing thier first home match for the year against the AIS Canberra on Friday night.