Alfred Cove Action Group blasts price tag for Tompkins Park upgrades

Alfred Cove Action Group blasts price tag for Tompkins Park upgrades

ALFRED Cove Action Group convenor David Maynier has blasted the $9.4 million price tag for upgrades to facilities at Tompkins Park, which he claims are intended solely to vacate the land required for the proposed wave park nearby.

Mr Maynier said the project was a waste of ratepayer money and that the existing Tompkins Park hub was already functioning well.

“The entire scope of the works are required as the direct result of relocating the bowls clubs – an unnecessary operation – and rearranging the remaining playing fields, reticulation and outdoor lighting to compensate for taking 4.4 hectares of land for the wave park,” he said.

He also railed at the monetary concessions on offer to the Melville and Mt Pleasant Bowling Clubs as compensation for their relocation and amalgamation.

“This assignment of ratepayer funds is a simple pork-barrelling exercise to put money into the pockets of the club or club members in an attempt to buy their support for something they didn’t want and didn’t ask for in the first place,” he said.

Finally, Mr Maynier questioned the proposed expansion to the privately-operated Tompkins Park gym in the wake of the City recently disbanding its own gym facilities at LeisureFit Melville.

“Why do we shut down one valued community service so that we can spend more money to replace the service, which is apparently not required because it is well supplied by 33 other (privately-operated) facilities in the area?” he said.

In response, Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox said that a move to centralised, multi-sport facilities was in line with both City and State Government policy and that creating new revenue streams, such as the $700,000 per year payable by the wave park operator, would reduce the rates burden for current and future generations.

“The Department of Sport and Recreation have already demonstrated their support of the shared multipurpose facility concept, with a grant of $700,000 for the proposed Tompkins Park sporting hub,” he said.

Dr Silcox said a possible extension of the gym would provide the new managing Association with an opportunity to increase its fixed revenue but stressed that the market would need to be tested with a tenant secured before proceeding with any works.

He also rubbished claims the Tompkins Park upgrades were intended as an excuse to clear land for the proposed wave park.

“This view is short sighted in that it ignores the cost benefits to the community,” Dr Silcox said.

“This indicates a complete disregard for the longer term needs of the community and the sustainability of the City in terms of its ability to fund community assets without large rate increases.”

“The Tompkins Park Concept Plan and redevelopment would proceed, subject to council approval, irrespective of the Wave Park proposal, another point that has been articulated by the City on many occasions.

“Providing state-of-the art covered bowling greens along with modifications and upgrades to the Hub, in support of all the sporting groups, should be seen for what it is and what is – the City of Melville delivering a high level of assets that supports a wide range of community’s needs and meets community expectations.”

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