Mediation between cricket club and community group fails to transpire

The Applecross Cricket Club in action at Bert Jeffrey Park.
The Applecross Cricket Club in action at Bert Jeffrey Park.

THE fight against Applecross Cricket Club building a facility at Bert Jeffrey Park is effectively over after a community group failed to come forward for mediation attempts.

Controversy over the park started nearly three years ago when the City of Melville installed a turf wicket without consulting nearby Murdoch residents.

The Friends of Bert Jeffrey (FOBJ) have been fighting against the cricket club’s plans for an amenities building for years.

Following his election in October, Mayor George Gear said the council would hold mediation between the club and FOBJ.

The community group was given about a month to commit to mediation but failed to join the table. An email from the City’s community development director Christine Young to the cricket club confirmed it had decided to close the matter.

Applecross Cricket Club president Jack Barendse said they were relieved and looking forward to the City moving forward with the construction of a facility.

“The ACC will always be open to speaking with any residents who have questions going forward and asks that they approach us directly so that issues can be resolved without delaying progress,” he said.

Among the reason the club wants the building is for running water, to store food safely and to have a place players could change.

Mr Barendse said he wanted councillors to approve funding to ensure the facility could be in place before next summer.

City of Melville chief executive Marten Tieleman said detailed designs would be completed for the amenity building before a request for tender was advertised, with completion of the construction anticipated for prior to the start of the summer 2020-21 season.

Despite the apparent end to the matter, the FOBJ engaged Bull Creek resident Marie Curtis to act on their behalf regarding consultation with a third party mediator.

Mr Tieleman told the Gazette he had advised Ms Curtis that the opportunity for mediation had passed.