Clubs’ hub rethink

THE Palmrya Rugby and Melville Cricket clubs are rumoured to be getting cold feet over a proposed sports hub on Tompkins Park.

The two clubs, which together form the Tompkins Park Sports and Recreation Association to manage an on-site function centre and clubrooms, were due to meet on Thursday evening to discuss Melville council’s plans for a radical reconfiguration of the park.

It involves rebuilding the Tompkins on Swan clubrooms and function centre to make room for the Perth Saints Soccer Club and two relocated bowling clubs and their greens, and overlapping playing fields to accommodate the various codes.

All that would make room for a proposed wave park on the western end of the park, which recently received environmental approval.

The council earlier this month directed staff to submit a development application for the sports hub.

But under the proposal, council staff say there’ll no longer be room to host some of the corporate and private functions which have helped provide the cricket and rugby clubs with a dividend to keep them afloat.

One suggestion to top up their tills has been to expand the clubs’ gymnasium.

• Former MP George Gear

Discussions

Rugby club president Justin Petersen said they had concerns about the sports hub model, but were still working with the council to see if they could be ironed out.

His cricket counterpart Roger Wiley’s away on a business trip, but said by email he was confident the club would have a long future at Tompkins Park.

“As a long-term, co-tenant of Tompkins Park with the Palmyra Rugby Union Club we continue to have open and productive discussions to ensure both the clubs are not negative impacted by proposed changes in the facility,” Mr Wiley said.

Meanwhile former federal MP George Gear has lodged an official complaint with the state government inquiry into Melville, asking it to revisit the council’s bowls strategy which paved the way for the relocation. Mr Gear says the council’s admin was selective in the information it presented to councillors, which created an unfairly pessimistic outlook for the Melville Bowling Club.

Mr Gear says federal and state MPs have staff, libraries and minister’s offices to provide them with information, while councillors only have their admin to rely on, which means there’s a bigger onus on providing accurate, unbiased information. He believes the bowls strategy failed that test.

He says if the inquiry agrees with him, it should ask the minister to intervene and overturn the document as a way of showing councils that poor governance won’t be tolerated.

The sports and recreation department has put $700,000 into the hub.

by STEVE GRANT

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