Council trials Western Park management
A committee of management overseeing Western Park will be disbanded and Baw Baw Shire will take over management of the sports facility.
Council will trial the new arrangement for 12 months and will then work with user groups to determine the best future management options for the reserve.
The committee of management was established 30 years ago. The three tenant sporting clubs include Western Park Cricket Club; Warragul Industrials Football Netball Club; and Warragul Gulls Football Netball Club.
Council currently undertakes all grass maintenance at the venue, excluding the turf wicket area which is a cricket club responsibility. Clubs pay a ground and court usage fee under council’s pricing policy.
A report to council said the committee of management was responsible for management of utility accounts, minor maintenance, waste management, bookings other than schools and advocacy for improvements/development at the reserve.
The committee receives an annual maintenance allocation to address minor building and ancillary maintenance items.
Council officers recently attended a committee of management meeting to outline some of the options available if a new committee was unable to be elected at the annual general meeting.
The options presented included: continued management of the reserve by a new committee; formally rescinding the committee, resulting in council assuming full management of the reserve; or, disbanding the committee for 12 months, resulting in council assuming full management of the reserve for a 12-month trial period.
Following the unsuccessful committee election, all clubs indicated on the night they would like council to assume management responsibility for a 12-month period.
The committee outlined a desire to monitor the new approach with the potential try to reestablish a committee in August 2019.
It was recommended that council retains the 2018/19 annual maintenance funds of $6525 and works with the clubs directly to undertake maintenance as required, in the interim.
Clubs at Western Park will continue to pay a fee for grass maintenance to council under council’s pricing policy.
Cr Danny Goss said the committee of management had been in place for a long period of time. He particularly acknowledged the work of Tony Flack who had been chairman for 20 years.
He said council had assumed a lot of responsibility for Western Park including mowing the reserve every Friday.
He said the committee of management paid utilities bills and was given some money to look after the precinct.
However, he said after being unable to elect a chairman at the annual meeting, the committee agreed to disband and council could manage the facility for a one year trial.
Cr Mikaela Power said she was confident council could come up with some improvements over the next 12 months during the trial arrangement.