3 July 2023
UPDATE FROM THE PRESIDENT
As many of you know, our proposal for a combined clubroom/turf/grass fields facility at Collier Park was considered by the City of South Perth Council on Tuesday. Unfortunately the Council voted to cease consideration of our project - effectively stalling it indefinitely. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. As you know, we are a large, vibrant club that has a 90 year history in South Perth. While our home for the last 60 years has been at Richardson Park, our game has been evolving and now 30 of our 40 teams play on turf. We need a combined facility so everyone in our club can train, play and socialise together. We are bitterly disappointed that this has not been supported by Council.
I wish to thank the 100 of you who wrote to Councillors expressing your reasons why we need our turf in South Perth. I also wish to thank those of you who attended the two Council meetings braving the cold to demonstrate your support. It was terrific seeing all those WASPie jumpers crowding the Council Chambers - in particular on Tuesday the 20th of June when we made our deputation. Having close to 200 members in uniform attending was really helpful. I was asked to speak on radio on Thursday about our turf campaign. I suspect the interview was offered because obviously so many of you care deeply about securing a turf for our Club. So thank you.
The vote was close, 4-3 against our project. The three members of council supporting our project proceeding were Councillors Glenn Cridland, Nick Warland and Blake D'Souza. Councillor Cridland and Councillor Warland spoke passionately in our favour. The Mayor - Greg Milner - recused himself from the debate as he was our Club co-patron. After Tuesday's vote, Mayor Milner resigned from his role as co-patron of our Club so he can be free to support our club's turf development proposal in future. He's posted about this on his Facebook page.
Councillor Mary Choy was unable to attend the meeting as she is away. Councillors Stephen Russell, Ken Manolas, Andre Brender-A-Brandis and Jennifer Nevard voted against our project. Councillors Russell and Brender-A-Brandis also voted against the preliminary feasibility study for our turf in 2020. I note that there is a Council election in October. Councillors Russell, Brender-A-Brandis, Manolas and Warland are up for re-election (although I understand Councillor Manolas may not be seeking a further term). I urge you to consider how these Councillors voted on our turf/grass/clubhouse proposal in the October council election.
Life Member Lyle Kenny has been our lead on this project for 8 years. He has put in a stupendous amount of energy and expertise into pursuing a turf for our Club. I'd like to pay tribute to him and thank him for all his work. Lyle and I are thinking through what our next steps can be. We don't think we can leave it here. A combined turf/clubhouse/grass facility for our Club is essential.