Ten­nis club court up with com­plaint

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Streetwatch -

COTTES­LOE Ten­nis Club mem­bers will have to wait to know if the Depart­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment will up­hold a mem­ber’s com­plaint about a Cottes­loe Coun­cil loan to build more courts.

“The Depart­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment and Com­mu­ni­ties has re­ceived a com­plaint and is cur­rently as­sess­ing the al­le­ga­tions, but fur­ther in­for­ma­tion will not be dis­closed at this time,” a Depart­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment spokes­woman said.

Af­ter plan­ning last­ing more than three years, the Napier Street club pro­posed a 10-court ex­ten­sion, mod­i­fi­ca­tions to other courts and in­stal­la­tion of play­ing lights, be­fore coun­cil­lors agreed on a $420,000 loan for the project last De­cem­ber.

Pub­lic sub­mis­sions gen­er­ated 13 com­ments, of which five were against the loan.

Af­ter le­gal ad­vice, club mem­ber Ge­orge Bray al­leged “a com­plete lack of trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity” in his com­plaint to the Depart­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment, in­clud­ing the va­lid­ity of a club meet­ing and the coun­cil al­legedly not fol­low­ing its poli­cies and the Lo­cal Govern­ment Act.

“None of the points I have raised have been chal­lenged, and what goes to the heart of it is they are us­ing two hard courts ren­o­vated three years ago at a cost of $116,000, with­out any jus­ti­fi­able cause, and will spend at least $175,000 re­plac­ing them,” Mr Bray said

Club pres­i­dent Phillip Bar­ron said the project was a “once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity”, and the club had demon­strated ca­pac­ity to raise and sup­port the loan for the project backed by Ten­nis West and a $53,365 Depart­ment of Sport and Recre­ation grant.

The coun­cil put a clause on the loan’s ap­proval at its last meet­ing for any fi­nal sign-off on the deal be­ing sub­ject to the out­come of the depart­ment’s in­quiry.

At the meet­ing, club mem­bers were dis­ap­pointed at the prospect of a de­lay caused by the Depart­ment in­quiry.

“The ob­jec­tions have been aired in de­tail to club mem­bers, and have been re­peat­edly re­jected,” club trea­surer Liz Peter­son said.

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