Review of Upper Coastal sporting facilities master plan scuttled

Shire of Gingin residents are disappointed with the council for voting against a review of a master plan which sets out that active sports be located in Lancelin and more passive sports in Ledge Point. Picture: Anita McInnes

SHIRE of Gingin residents disappointed with the council’s decision to not re-establish a working group to undertake a review of the Upper Coastal sporting facilities master plan say they are now looking at the options available to them.

A petition with 376 signatures was presented to the council and 21 people including Lancelin Community and Sporting Club president Norm Skoglund as well as golf, bowling, hockey and netball representatives attended the shire’s June 21 ordinary meeting in the hope councillor Frank Peczka’s motion on the issue would be successful.

To their dismay motions put forward by Cr Peczka, who declared an impartiality interest at the start of the item as he is a fee-paying member of the Lancelin Bowling Club were unsuccessful.

The officer’s report presented at the meeting said the Lancelin Bowling Club had made contact with President Wayne Fewster some four to five weeks previously to further discuss the proposed synthetic bowling green project at the Lancelin Community and Sporting Complex.

Cr Peczka had followed up with Cr Fewster who advised that the matter be presented to the council for further consideration on re-instating the previous working group and whether a review of the master plan priorities be undertaken.

The draft Upper Coastal sporting facilities master plan, which proposed “the creation of an active sports space in Lancelin, with more passive sports located in Ledge Point” was presented to the council on August 18, 2020.

It proposed locating football, basketball, hockey, netball, soccer, gym and shooting at Lancelin with golf, bowls and tennis located at Ledge Point.

At the time Lancelin golf and bowling club members thought they had secured their future when councillors agreed that all the sporting clubs could remain as part of the Upper Coastal sporting facilities plan as long as they were sustainable.

But the motion also said the councillors agreed the shire could not financially support the duplication of facilities within close proximity to each other.

The motion also authorised the Upper Coastal sporting facilities working group to consult with relevant clubs on any modification to the master plan.

Following consultation with the member groups, the working group chair’s comment was that the community wanted both golf and bowling facilities to remain in Ledge Point and Lancelin as reflected in submissions received from the bowling and golf clubs from both towns and the Seaview Park Community Association.

The June 21 officer’s report said should the council wish to re-establish the working group new terms of reference would need to be developed to clearly guide the outcomes sought from the working group by the council.

“It should also be noted that while that Cr Peczka’s intent is to review the master plan priorities, the master plan as adopted provided no scope for inclusion of upgrades to duplicated facilities as they are not included within the master plan,’’ the officer’s report said.

“It is therefore difficult to see how a review of the priorities approved by council will achieve the outcome sought by the bowling club.’’

A motion moved by councillor Kim Rule, which was carried 6-2, requested a draft terms of reference be submitted for the council’s July ordinary meeting, with clarification within the terms of reference that the purpose of the working group is to review the timing of and funding opportunities of the existing priorities identified within the Upper Coastal sporting facilities master plan 2021 and ensure the master plan’s core priorities of long term sustainability and non-duplication of assets was adhered to in accordance with the strategic direction of the council.

The motion also included that within the drafted terms of reference it should be noted that the working group be re-established no later than five years after adoption of the master plan to assess progress of implementation of the existing plan priorities and undertake the review of the identified priorities timing.

Gingin shire backs away from closing Lancelin clubs