Cannington MLA says treatment of Cannington Bowling Club ‘unfair’

Cannington Bowling Club members . Picture: Matt Jelonek
Cannington Bowling Club members . Picture: Matt Jelonek

CANNINGTON MLA Bill Johnston has criticised the City of Canning, saying its treatment of Cannington Bowling Club members was unfair.

His comments came after a decision by Canning Council last month to evict the club from its George Street West premises by June 30.

Mr Johnston, who met members of the club last Friday, said everyone knew the physical infrastructure of the club needed renewal.

“There had been a number of proposals by council as to what the future of the club may look like,” he said.

“Leaving the club in the current facility was not an |option but the way they have done it was disappointing.”

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Mr Johnston said when the Mills Park Bowling Club moved to Cannington there was an expectation there would be an ongoing future for the Cannington Bowling Club.

“The fact that this has been allowed to come to crisis |before action was taken does not reflect well on council,” Mr Johnston said.

A City spokesperson said the club’s committee was responsible for the club’s governance.

The spokesperson said while investigating the proposed merger between Cannington Bowling Club and Mills Park Bowling Club in April 2015, Bowls WA notified the City of concerns with the accounting practices of Cannington Bowling Club.

“Following further investigations that included property inspections and a financial |review, City officers indicated to the club in June 2015 that its lease would not be renewed,” he said.

The spokesperson said the City at that time granted the club’s request to continue to occupy the premises to finish the bowling season in March 2016.

“The City has allowed the club to continue to occupy the building on a month-to-month lease since that date. During that time the City has asked the club on numerous occasions to provide the City with information that it had improved its financial situation,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the club had not provided compelling information to prove its viability and demonstrate the facility should be prioritised over other community needs.

Cannington Bowling Club members can ask the City to pay membership fees to an alternative bowling club for the next two bowling seasons.