Former mayor suggests club partners with Wanneroo

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A partnership between the Sun City Country Club and the City of Wanneroo could be a win-win situation, says former mayor Jon Kelly. Picture: Anita McInnes

A FORMER Wanneroo mayor has suggested Yanchep golf club members could benefit from a partnership arrangement with the City of Wanneroo instead of selling their land.

Jon Kelly, who was adamant he had no intention of running in the local government elections in October and was expressing his opinion as a Yanchep resident, said the City of Wanneroo was able to run its public golf courses profitably.

Mr Kelly, who was mayor when the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) investigated the City of Wanneroo – the CCC made no adverse findings about him – said he remembered when the Sun City Country Club (SCCC) got itself in financial trouble in 2000 and wanted to sell to the city.

He said the club’s business model was based on a model, which required people to pay thousands to be a member while more successful models were based on thousands wanting to pay for a round of golf.

One club member, who is not on the committee, said the idea of partnering with the City of Wanneroo sounded reasonable but in his opinion most members did not want the club to end up like Carramar or Marangaroo.

“The club like every golf club in the world is suffering from ageing membership and lack of members (especially 7/6 days) hence reduced income,’’ he said.

“Golfers want more flexibility in life and don’t want to commit.

“Although the offer will have to be very good as most members (I am one) are indifferent to selling as we are now in the black.’’

In Wanneroo looks at buying Sun City golf course (Yanchep News Online, July 28) it was reported that on July 23 the council went behind closed doors to discuss buying land in the northern suburbs.

Before councillors met again on July 30 a report was made public  saying the city was considering a City of Wanneroo controlled course option and a second option where the operations were completely outsourced to the SCCC.

The city and another interested buyer are now doing due diligence on the club, which according to the city has a loan of $490,000 (estimated per 2017 accounts).

Recently retired lawyer and Yanchep resident Chris Baker, who will be nominating for the North Coast ward in the October elections, said the key to the issue was what was in the best interests of the city’s ratepayers and residents.

“My understanding is that a council staff member and an elected member of the council had already had discussions with an SCCC office bearer prior to the city resolving last week to ‘enter into discussions’,’’ he said.

Mr Baker, who is a former Joondalup MLA and councillor, said there had been no public consultation with the City of Wanneroo’s ratepayers and residents about buying the privately-owned golf course.

He said he could think of many other more beneficial ways of spending up to what the city had described as up to $10 million.

In his opinion that amount of money could be better spent on waiving fees paid by junior sporting clubs and senior citizen groups for the use of council-owned sporting and recreational facilities or to fast track other projects such as the proposed swimming pool and a dual path between Butler and Yanchep.