The multi-purpose community sporting centre in Carlisle would have been a new home for the Victoria Park Carlisle Bowling Club but the multimillion-dollar cost to operate and maintain it over 30 years was declared too much of an impost on the community now and into the future.
Bowling club president Rod Wishart, a member since 1959, said the committee was not happy with the decision.
‘Council asked us to amalgamate with the Carlisle/Lathlain club eight years ago, which we did, but nothing has happened despite council spending a lot of money on consultant after consultant,’ Mr Wishart said.
The council first mooted the project in 2000 when it identified a need to demolish the 59-year-old clubhouse so it could redevelop the Victoria Park town centre. It was to house the bowling club, local croquet club, blind bowlers’ association and the WA Table Tennis Association.
At last Tuesday’s council meeting, Cr John Bissett said he was disappointed with the recommendation, eventually supported six votes to three.
The recommendation stated there was no evidence a bowling or croquet club were needed in the area because there were four bowling clubs within 5km of the proposed site, and another four bowling and two croquet clubs just outside this catchment.
Cr Bissett said it would have cost $12 million to build the centre, but he did not believe council’s administration had investigated all construction options, saying it could have been built for as little as $8.5 million.
‘But that’s just my opinion,’ he said. ‘The croquet club is in a 100-year-old weatherboard building, and the 50-year-old timber and fibro bowling club should be condemned.’
Cr Keith Hayes said he had hoped to see the late William Tate, the man who had the vision to start a petition supporting the centre’s development, bowl the first ball down the green.
‘Sadly he died last year; it would have been the culmination of his life,’ Cr Hayes said.
Mr Wishart said committee members had met Victoria Park acting chief executive Anthony Vuleta last week where a decision had been made to look at making staged improvements to the Kent Street clubhouse.