Mayor tries to win back miffed clubs

South Western Times - - NEWS - US­MAN AZAD

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.

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