Calls for public meeting on Westbury Recreation Ground grow louder

PETITION: The Westbury Suns Football Club are concerned about the planned development.
PETITION: The Westbury Suns Football Club are concerned about the planned development.

Meander Valley Suns Football Club president Leigh Watts has denounced the planned Westbury Recreation ground redevelopment.

The Westbury football club is one of two users, along with the Westbury Cricket Club, of the current recreation ground, however Mr Watts said the $5 million upgrade would put the financial viability of the club into question.

He said the planned function centre could potentially make the club insolvent.

“We're very concerned about our identity,” Mr Watts said.

“If the centre has a function room and somebody wanted to book it, we'd be kicked out for the night.

“It's important we have a club room leased to the football club to run functions for us to be financially viable.

“The cricket club are also in support with the football club.”

His comments come in the wake of a petition, written by ex-councillor Pat Frost, calling for the Meander Valley Council to rescind its decision to undertake the redevelopments.

The petition has raised just under 500 signatures and will be taken to the council’s monthly meeting on Tuesday by councillor Tanya King.

I do know that at various sectors of the community there have been mutterings about it and a feeling that it is overkill.

Cr Deborah White

Meander Valley councillor Deborah White said she was also in favour of the matter coming to a public meeting. 

“I would like to see the whole project reevaluated, and hear from the community what their view is,” she said.

“I do know that at various sectors of the community there have been mutterings about it and a feeling that it is overkill.”

A motion for a $5 million upgrade of the current recreation ground was passed at the council’s September meeting after councillors voted down a motion for $1.2 million worth of upgrades.

The touted upgrades include a function centre, sports pavilion and new change rooms, according to mayor Craig Perkins.

However, Mr Watts said neither of the current users were consulted during the planning proposals for the redevelopment. 

“[The Meander Valley Suns] were supposed to be consulted and have a plan in the plan, but it's been disappointing so far we haven't been consulted,” he said.

“The cricket club definitely wasn’t [consulted] either.”