No room for hockey
CLUB MAY HAVE TO LEAVE VICTORIA PARK
THERE are fears the Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club will have to leave the Town after a report showed there were no viable options for it to stay.
The club, which has been in the Town under various names since 1962, is looking to move from Fletcher Park so it can build a synthetic turf facility to keep up with other clubs around the metro area.
After some members of the community campaigned against the club’s preferred option at Harold Rossiter Reserve because of environmental concerns and the loss of public open space, the Town appointed Dave Lanfear Consulting to look at options for the club.
The consultants report came to the council at the elected members briefing session on October 3.
It said there was not a suitable location owned by the Town that could accommodate a synthetic turf pitch, three natural grass pitches and clubrooms.
Council staff have recommended the council work with the club to explore alternative options that would provide it with increased access to a synthetic turf pitch.
Club president Ryan Willis said he was disappointed by the findings and was concerned the club would be forced from the Town.
“Given the timeframe, the report is as good as it could have been, but it’s disappointing,” he said.
“To say there are no viable sites is disappointing and inaccurate.
“I think the Town needs to go further and investigate the public open spaces that are underutilised.
“I'd like the council to reject the recommendation or amend it to further investigate places like Higgins Park or Taylor Reserve.”
Mr Willis said the club was more than just about sport because it created social opportunities.
Mayor Trevor Vaughan said more investigation would be required to ascertain whether there were suitable locations for the club not owned by the Town.
“We are committed to continuing to work with the hockey club to explore more options,” he said.
The Town will make a decision at tonight's ordinary council meeting.