Mayor tries to win back miffed clubs
BUNBURY City Council has held an 11th hour meeting with two major sporting clubs to find a solution to covering the cost of maintaining the new Hay Park Multi-Sports Pavilion.
Mayor Gary Brennan, along with other council staff, met with representatives from the South West Phoenix Football Club and the South West Warriors Rugby League Club on Tuesday.
The clubs are set to be the major tenants for the new sports ground but have been asked by the council to each pay about $120,000 a year.
The clubs claim this fee is unaffordable and would jeopardise their futures.
Mr Brennan told the South Western Times it was important the lease fee for the new sports grounds was fair and equitable.
However, he said it was rare that a sporting club had not contributed to the cost of building its ground.
One of the options offered by the council was to offer a reduced lease fee with the council revisiting the fee for maintenance at a later date.
“The end result was they undertook to discuss that with their respective committees and come back to us with a response,” Mr Brennan said. “I stress it was all informal and I was just looking for a way of getting a breakthrough to get a win-win.”
Next week, the council is set to approve the tender to build the new sports stadium as well as lease agreements with the clubs.
The $5 million cost of building the new pavilion has been shared by the State Government and the council.
Mr Brennan said if the council approved the tender it would take about 30 months to finish construction.
“They (the clubs) probably need a period of time of actually occupying the building and having their games and other events to see their cash flow,” he said.
“At that time we can sit down and review the numbers.”
A mediated solution could wardoff a potentially nasty battle between the council and the sports club.
South West Phoenix president Guy Italiano confirmed the meeting took place but would not comment on what was discussed.
Last week, the South Western Times revealed the council had at first asked for the clubs to each pay $164,000 a year but this was reduced to $119,000.