THE future of the Melville and Mt Pleasant bowling clubs remains in the balance after councillors directed the City to undertake a new round of consultation before making a final decision on a forced shift to Tompkins Park.
Meeting in front of a packed and vocal public gallery, the council rejected parts of the officers’ recommendations relating to starting the process of co-locating or amalgamating the two clubs.
The decision followed a deputation by Melville Bowling Club members Tim Smith and Ken Atkins, during which they stressed the financial strength and community value of their club.
They also criticised a lack of input into the bowls strategy developed for the City by an external consultant.
Bowls WA also submitted a letter to the City urging that a decision be deferred until further consultation could take place.
Mr Smith finished by relaying selected members’ belief that the bowls strategy amounted to a land grab on the part of the City and that it was trying to force clubs off potentially lucrative freehold land and on to reserves.
He called on council to hold off on its decision until all of the City’s bowling clubs had time to fully consider the proposed bowls strategy and submit formal responses.
Councillor Nicholas Pazolli obliged, moving a motion to defer any decision pending further consultation with the affected clubs.
That motion was defeated 7-5, with council instead opting to accept parts of the officers’ recommendation, specifically that the Leeming Bowling Club remain at it current venue while it is part of a sustainable sporting hub and to endorse the future co-location of Kardinya Bowling Club as a tenant of a sporting hub at Morris Buzacott Reserve.
All decisions relating to the future of the Melville and Mt Pleasant bowling clubs have been put on hold until an unspecified future date, but the City was instructed to investigate suitable future uses for both the Melville Bowling Club and Mt Pleasant Bowling Club sites.