Hub sweeteners

MELVILLE council is offering to write off loans worth tens of thousands of dollars as a sweetener to get clubs to sign up to its proposed sporting hub at Tompkins Park.

At Tuesday’s agenda briefing forum councillors were given a look at the proposed concept plan for the park, which will cost almost $9.5 million to implement.

It would see the Melville and Mt Pleasant bowling clubs merged and relocated to share an expanded facility with the Palmyra rugby union, Melville cricket and Perth Saints soccer clubs. Key elements of the concept plan include four new synthetic bowling greens, expanding the existing pavilion, reconfigured playing fields and a bigger commercial gym that brings in cash to the rugby and cricket clubs.

A report to the council says that since initially agreeing, both bowling clubs have cooled to the merger because members can’t get their heads around how the hub will work.

They’ve also put in a ‘compensation’ claim to the council, asking for $30,000 to pay for three years of coaching, $125,000 to cover memberships for two years, $40,000 for new uniforms, and a $60,000 sinking fund to replace the playing greens when they get old.

Staff weren’t keen on the coaching or memberships.

At the forum David Maynier from the Alfred Cove Action Group described the plan as unnecessary and a ruse to make space for a proposed wave park.

He described the offer to write off loans and provide financial sweeteners to the clubs as “pork-barrelling” and claims that with concessions granted to the proposed wave park, the council won’t receive a net return on the deal for 20 years.

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