Bowls petition lodged

MLC Simon O’Brien receives the petition from Joy Pollard, while members and councillors Margaret Sandford and Katherine Jackson ponder the bowls club’s future. Photo by Steve Grant.

THE fight to save the Mt Pleasant Bowling Club from redevelopment is heading to state parliament.

Last week club members were joined by councillors Katherine Jackson and Margaret Sandford and surrounding neighbours to present a 313-signature petition to South Metro Liberal MLC Simon O’Brien calling for the state’s Upper House to block any housing on the Bedford Road site.

Local resident and lead petitioner Joy Pollard said people living around the club, many of them ex-cockies, appreciated the open space and didn’t want to see it gobbled up by developers.

“With this big [coronavirus] I feel that we have been so blessed not to be in high rise,” said Ms Pollard.

Cr Jackson said they’d been trying to convince the city’s administration there was an opportunity to open the club up to the community, but had met with great resistance.

Mr O’Brien said he was very sympathetic to the residents’ calls.

“I think if they are going to redevelop it here, perhaps some redevelopment but on a different trajectory; not replacing bowling greens with multi-storey apartments but perhaps about exploiting the ample benefits here,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There’s ample parking; perhaps there’s other clubs that might want to move here.”

Cr Sandford said that’s exactly what’s available, with a local netball club with 700 members desperate to train there if a couple of courts could be provided, while Melville Cares could hold friendship sessions there.

Cr Jackson said there’s a bit of male chauvinism at work; she says male-dominated clubs have been getting new clubrooms (one even got two) while women’s sports such as the netballers often have to play in appalling conditions.

She said one club had to send young girls across a road to a nearby primary school just so they could go to the toilet.

By STEVE GRANT

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