Supplementary AGENDA  1R


Distributed on 26 February 2018






Council Meeting








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Council Meeting

27 February 2018







The following report/s appear as late item/s with Mayoral approval as information required for the preparation of the report/s was not available at the time of distribution of the Business Paper.



1          Mayoral Minutes


ITEM                                                                                                                                       PAGE


C0218 Item 16    Mayoral Minute: Allocation of Sporting Grounds Policy and AFL at Birchgrove Oval      3


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Council Meeting

27 February 2018


Item No:         C0218 Item 16

Subject:         Mayoral Minute: Allocation of Sporting Grounds Policy and AFL at Birchgrove Oval           

From:             The Mayor, Councillor Darcy Byrne   





THAT Council:

1.    Prepare a draft sporting field allocations policy and provide a briefing to Councillors prior to its public exhibition or adoption;

2.    Note that as the upgrade of the Waterfront Drive playing fields surface has not been delivered there will be no additional weekday evening training capacity at the ground for the 2018 winter season;

3.    Allow Balmain District Football Club to maintain their existing use of training fields for 2018 with the allocation to be reviewed in 2019, following the completion of the upgrade of Waterfront Drive;

4.    Officers provide a report to Councillors on the status of the proposed Henson Park upgrade and the potential partnership between Council, the Newtown Jets and Sydney Swans;

5.    Collaborate with AFL NSW/ACT on their proposal to host the state wide launch of Auskick (the AFL’s junior development program) at Birchgrove Oval on 15 March; and

6.    Allocate up to three Saturday games to Balmain AFL Club to play home games at Birchgrove Oval in 2018, with dates to be determined through consensus with the existing users. The capital and ongoing staff costs associated with the installation of AFL goal posts at Birchgrove Oval is to be given consideration as part of the 2018/2019 budget process.







Following the amalgamation, it is timely and important for Councillors to review and refine the sporting ground allocations policy and process, which is causing confusion for some clubs.


A number of clubs have contacted myself and other Councillors since the election last September to explain their concerns which include not knowing which officers within Council to liaise with or whether the same process for requests and bookings that existed prior to the amalgamation is in place.


One such Club is Balmain District Football Club (BDFC).


During the period of administration ongoing bureaucratic delays resulted in the fully funded upgrade of the Waterfront Drive sporting fields in Callan Park being repeatedly put off.


As Councillors will be aware, as a consequence of these delays the upgrade of that ground has now been separated into multiple stages, with lighting due to be installed by April this year and the major resurfacing of the fields, installation of modern irrigation systems and other works scheduled to take place during the 2018/19 summer season.


BDFC and other users of the ground made repeated representations to the Administrator and Council officers clarifying that without the resurfacing of the ground, the installation of lighting would not significantly increase the capacity for the fields to be used. During the 2017 season, without any weekday evening training, the ground became dangerously worn.


Last October Council resolved to ensure the completion of urgent maintenance works, so that the ground could be used this winter season.


Despite those maintenance works not yet having been completed the Club has now been informed that in the draft allocation of grounds for weekday evening training they will be required to give up training nights at Birchgrove Oval, despite the alternative fields for weekday training in Callan park until the 2019 season.




Recently I met with representatives of the AFL NSW/ACT to discuss options for expanding the presence of AFL within the Inner West.


In addition to the progressing the partnership between the Newtown Jets and the Sydney Swans to upgrade Henson Park, established under the former Marrickville Council, there are other practical measures that can help expand junior AFL in our area.


This includes establishing a modest presence at Birchgrove Oval including a small number of games this year and the installation of posts there.


Subject to further detailed design, it appears that the goal posts could be installed at the southern end of the ground and remain in place for the season. 


The goal posts on the northern side of the oval would need to be removed and reinstalled each week, to allow for rugby league on Sundays.  This area is utilised as a warm up area. 


The staff costs associated with this would be up to $10,600 per season, depending on the level of usage.



Financial Implications


The capital cost to Council would be approximately $17,000.


The staff costs associated with this would be up to $10,600 per season for 20 games. In 2018 this cost would be dramatically reduced as only 3 games are proposed.


There has been no allocation made within the draft 2018/2019 budget for the above costs.