Mercury (Hobart)

Tigers not conceding over turf

Club encouraged as council agrees to more consultati­on

- BRETT STUBBS

THE Tigers TSL club has not given up hope in its fight against the Kingboroug­h Council and the decision to put a turf cricket pitch into the Twin Ovals football ground.

The council passed the recommenda­tion — part of a broader $50 million plan for the future of the Kingboroug­h Sports Precinct — on Tuesday night with a 6-3 vote.

The council hopes to fully use both grounds at the facility, as upkeep of the football ground alone costs ratepayers about $500,000 a year.

But Tigers president Paul Gadomski said the fight was not yet over.

“The Tigers were pleased to hear that the Kingboroug­h Sporting precinct plan is a draft plan with a vision for the precinct for the next 25 years,” Gadomski said.

He said the football club’s biggest gripe, and that of the code’s governing body, AFL Tasmania, was a lack of consultati­on.

“Our objective and that of key stakeholde­rs in this partnershi­p with AFL Tasmania was to seek further consultati­on on the issues and I am pleased to hear it on public record that consultati­on will now occur, the mayor [Dean Winter] has committed to that and we thank him for that opportunit­y,” he said. “This was a real 360 by the mayor as last week the Tigers wrote to the mayor to ask him to come to a special general meeting at the Tigers to outline his position and this request was declined.

“Thankfully the mayor has reconsider­ed, and we look forward to ongoing discussion­s.”

Cr Winter described the week as “bruising”, but hoped progress could now be made.

“Now that the Future Directions Plan has been endorsed by council we need to undertake consultati­on with clubs about the initiative­s within it,” Cr Winter said.

“A lot of work went into the plan, including engaging with the 33 user organisati­ons of the Kingboroug­h Sports Precinct, including the Tigers. We are keen to sit down with the Tigers and work through the issues constructi­vely.”

Gadomski said he hoped a move to create a second turf wicket on the football ground would now go through the council’s due diligence and a business case created to show that it was economical­ly viable.

“The mayor has been quite clear that he wants better utilisatio­n of council/community assets … and on that ethos once the numbers are on the table, I am confident the Kingboroug­h Council will land on the correct page,” Gadomski said.

He also said this policy should also open up the cricket ground for further use by the football club as the Tigers numbers have grown by 35 per cent to 120 players this year.

“With the emergence of the precinct plan on the council’s agenda last week, all the Tigers wanted was the opportunit­y to consult as we hadn’t been adequately consulted to date, nor has AFL Tasmania,” he said.

“The council and the mayor committed to that and we look forward to future discussion­s so that we can outline our needs and land in the right spot for AFL football in the Kingboroug­h community.”

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