Ratepayers foot $200,000 bill to maintain Hillcrest Reserve

The Bayswater City Council will extend the current arrangement for another year, continuing to employ an external curator for turf wicket preparation and maintenance.

The City is responsible for the maintenance of the reserve and before the 2013-14 season, a curator was employed directly by the City.

Two years ago, the Council moved to outsource maintenance until June 2016 with an option for three further 12-month extensions.

Mayor Barry McKenna said the curator had transformed the reserve into a “sought-after” venue.

“We’ve had a number of Test players from that club,” he said. Cr McKenna said a large chunk of $207,119 was used to pay the curator’s wage.

Cr Dan Bull said the better quality ground was more likely to attract quality players.

However, Cr Chris Cornish said the Council should ask the cricket club to contribute more and said it was not equal to support they offered other clubs like the Bayswater Bowling Club. “Residents are picking up this whole thing,” he said. “Why are these guys so special?”

A City officer said Bayswater received $8600 income from the cricket club for upper Hillcrest and $5750 for lower Hillcrest.