Bas­ket­ball group wel­comes lease

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Hor­sham bas­ket­ball lead­ers have wel­comed con­fir­ma­tion of a Hor­sham coun­cil de­ci­sion to of­fer them up to a 10-year con­tract to lease Hor­sham Bas­ket­ball Sta­dium.

Hor­sham Am­a­teur Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Owen Hughan said the de­ci­sion meant the as­so­ci­a­tion had es­caped ‘po­ten­tial dis­as­ter’.

“The con­flict aris­ing around the re­new­ing of the lease of the bas­ket­ball sta­dium has been re­solved with no neg­a­tive con­di­tions im­posed on the as­so­ci­a­tion,” he said.

“The HABA be­lieves that com­mon sense has pre­vailed. The as­so­ci­a­tion is now al­lowed to run its suc­cess­ful pro­gram with­out in­ter­fer­ence and put its en­ergy into bas­ket­ball and kids.”

Hor­sham Ru­ral City Coun­cil voted at its Septem­ber 24 meet­ing to of­fer the bas­ket­ball as­so­ci­a­tion ‘a seven-year con­tract with a three-year ex­ten­sion’ to use the sta­dium.

But Cr Mark Radford put for­ward a no­tice of mo­tion at the coun­cil’s Oc­to­ber 22 meet­ing to re­scind the de­ci­sion.

Cr Radford ar­gued that coun­cil­lors had made the de­ci­sion with­out any of­fi­cer re­port or rec­om­men­da­tion to pro­vide ‘foun­da­tional strength’.

In his ra­tio­nale he wrote: “If good gov­er­nance is about in­formed de­ci­sion mak­ing, then a 10-year com­mit­ment to do any­thing re­quires some sci­ence be­hind it.

“To com­mit to a 10-year li­cense is not an agree­ment be­tween the two par­ties. The bas­ket­ball as­so­ci­a­tion and coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives are yet to reach agree­ment.

“With re­spects to the bas­ket­ball sta­dium, dis­cus­sions need to con­tinue, to find a fair and rea­son­able balance be­tween meet­ing the cur­rent and fu­ture needs of both the as­so­ci­a­tion and the coun­cil.”

Cr Radford failed to get sec­on­der for his no­tice of mo­tion.

The move all but en­sured draft Hor­sham in­door sports Cen­tre plans, which had in­volved the sta­dium as part of a larger de­vel­op­ment cross­ing into Hor­sham Show­ground, went into limbo. The coun­cil is now ex­plor­ing um­brella precinct plan­ning in­volv­ing the area.

Hor­sham Col­lege

Mr Hughan used the op­por­tu­nity to press a be­lief that a new in­door sta­dium should be at Hor­sham Col­lege in­stead of Hor­sham Show­ground.

“The coun­cil prob­a­bly doesn’t re­alise that the as­so­ci­a­tion is per­haps its big­gest ally in pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion about what’s needed for in­door sport in Hor­sham. We’ve been do­ing this a long time,” he said.

“What’s al­ways been ob­vi­ous to us is that bas­ket­ball, be­ing such a con­sis­tent and high-value re­cre­ation ac­tiv­ity in coun­try com­mu­ni­ties, needs an au­ton­o­mous base.

“We sup­port a new in­door sta­dium. But it can’t be at the ex­pense of the bas­ket­ball pro­gram in Hor­sham, which is di­rectly con­nected to main­tain­ing the bas­ket­ball sta­dium as it is now.

“Say­ing that, we must have au­ton­omy with the sta­dium. It is not about say­ing we’re above any­one else, it’s about sur­vival.

“What we have is a pur­pose-built bas­ket­ball sta­dium, which has proven it­self for nearly 50 years.

“Added to this is ev­i­dence of the neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ence other bas­ket­ball as­so­ci­a­tions have had when they have gone down the road of go­ing un­der coun­cil con­trol. They have lost all au­ton­omy and fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity.

“If we were part of the project as it stood we would go broke and it would be the end of bas­ket­ball in Hor­sham.

“We un­der­stand the time and ef­fort that has gone into the cre­at­ing of an in­door sta­dium, but we’ve al­ways ar­gued that the se­lected site is in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

“Multi-pur­pose should al­ways mean multi-pur­pose and not be at the ex­pense of a par­tic­i­pat­ing ten­ant.

“The col­lege pro­posal, tap­ping into the heart­beat of youth in Hor­sham, would mean the pri­mary ten­ant is the school, not an am­a­teur sport­ing group.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.