Hawks cheer funding victory

Wanneroo Council has agreed to fund an extension to Oldham Park change rooms. Picture: file image
Wanneroo Council has agreed to fund an extension to Oldham Park change rooms. Picture: file image

Two days after winning the Metropolitan Football League, the club and other Oldham Park users celebrated a second win as council agreed to fund an extension to the changerooms.

It approved borrowing $196,667 from reserve funds for the 100sq m multi-purpose room, applying for a $98,333 State Government grant and reporting back on the club’s commitment to contribute a third of funds.

Prior to the September 16 council meeting, Yanchep resident Jay Leonhardt said the club was concerned about raising its third since the estimated cost had escalated from less than $100,000 to the City’s calculation of $295,000.

‘Ninety thousand dollars is a lot for a community like ours to raise; that’s a lot of sausages,’ he said.

The City’s community development director Fiona Bentley said they always asked user clubs to contribute towards upgrades of facilities.

Mrs Bentley said in the case of the Quinns Rocks Sports Club extension, the club paid for most of the work and applied for grants.

During public question time, resident Phil Smeeton asked if the club’s contribution could be ‘in-kind’.

Mrs Bentley said only if it was provided by a licensed contractor who donated their time to build the extension or supervise volunteers.

With the recommendation, ultimately approved by councillors, to employ a building projects officer for 12 months, infrastructure director Dennis Blair said he would offer the position to suitable applicants for the full-time role that the City was currently in the process of recruiting. Mr Blair also said they had covered several contingencies in both the cost and 64-week timeframe, and the project could fall below both estimates.

During the meeting, councillor Russell Driver tried unsuccessfully to amend the recommendation to go to public consultation before committing to the extension.

Other councillors said the clubs had been waiting long enough, the extension would be well used by the Yanchep community and the funds would be repaid to the reserves.

‘Look at the audience; we’ve got youngsters right through to seniors that are getting the full use of the amenities (at Oldham),’ Cr Norm Hewer said. ‘We need to expand that particular area, we have been waiting 15 years for it.’

Several councillors said they would not normally borrow from reserves, with the move only made twice previously, to build the Hester Avenue road bridge over the rail line and for emergency coastal protection works in Quinns Rocks.