City of Melville bowling club strategy revealed

A REPORT on the future of bowls in the City of Melville has recommended co-locating or amalgamating the Melville and Mt Pleasant Bowling Clubs at a new facility in Tompkins Park.

Prepared by A Balanced View Leisure Consultancy Services, the report found that pennant participation in the City of Melville had steadily declined for a decade.

The 16 bowling greens spread across the City’s four clubs (Melville, Mt Pleasant, Kardinya and Leeming) are enough to cater for 1600 pennant players but just 680 pennant members are registered at those venues.

A fifth bowling club, Bull Creek, is also in City limits but is privately owned and operated.

An oversupply of facilities and declining membership means the City currently subsidises bowling clubs approximately $400 per pennant member per year, which is significantly higher than other sporting facilities across the City.

Accordingly, the report recommends creating two main bowling facilities in the City, one in the north and one in the south, with a new three-green facility at Tompkins Park the priority.

A four-green facility at Morris Buzacott Reserve, currently home to the Kardinya Bowling Club, is also suggested but there are currently no plans to re-locate the Leeming Bowling Club to that location as it is already part of a sustainable sporting hub.

City of Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox said the new lawn bowls strategy built on a previous report, which had already identified the position of the sport both in the City and across the state.

“There is clearly a continuing decrease in bowls membership numbers right across WA with an approximate 16 per cent decrease since the 2010-2011 season,” Dr Silcox said.

“Within Melville there are currently five clubs with nearly 800 bowls members and City staff have worked very closely with their executives to ensure the long term needs of the clubs and their future can be catered for.

“By developing the Lawn Bowls Strategy and having a clear vision of how we can better support the clubs into the future, we hope to be able to give them state of the art facilities, a wider membership base, reduced financial burdens and importantly an opportunity to preserve their history with their future secured.”

A final decisionwill be considered on Tuesday, June 21.