Opinion: Facts trump wave park claims

Like some of US President Donald Trump's speeches, many claims about the wave park beggar belief.
Like some of US President Donald Trump's speeches, many claims about the wave park beggar belief.

IN response to Peter Neesham’s letter (Melville Times, August 22), he makes so many unsubstantiated and plain wrong claims, I felt like I was listening to a Trump speech.

My top four include:

A loss of ground space to field sports. Wrong, there is no net loss of sports fields associated with the proposed development (see the new Tompkins Park Master Plan).

The area is currently available to any member of the public” who can have “unrestricted access”. Wrong, the site for the surf park is largely occupied by the existing Melville Bowling Club, which is only accessible by its members and is surrounded by a 2.4 metre chain link fence.

The community will lose 4.4ha of public open space. Wrong, this is not public open space, it is an active sports reserve within a major sports hub, that is used by local residents to walk their dogs when sports are not being conducted. There are more than 75sq m of passive public open space within 1km of Tompkins Park.

A commercial venture on our prime river-front land makes no sense. Wrong, there are a number of other commercially operated sporting and recreation clubs lining the Swan River. A few that instantly spring to mind are the Swan Yacht Club, South of Perth Yacht Club, Swan River Rowing Club and the Melville Water Polo Club. All of these clubs are built alongside the river, take full advantage of the surrounds, and provide both sporting and recreational facilities for members and guests to enjoy.

They bring people together, encourage participation in physical activity and enjoyment of the outdoors, and would not be viable unless they were commercially operated.

Melville Water Polo Club is a great proxy for the surf park as they have a number of striking similarities.

Both venues cater to Olympic sports, both are on the river’s edge, both hold long-term leases from the City of Melville, and both offer evening competition under lights, function rooms and bar facilities.

The water polo club is an integral part of the Melville community, and brings with it much spirit and competition.

I see so many similarities here, so why Peter is it OK to have a water polo club on the river’s edge but not a surfing facility?