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Letter to the Editor of The Post Newspaper - Clarification on the Town's position regarding the Claremont Recreation Centre.
Letter to the Editor – The POST Newspaper
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the Town’s position and correct some of the misunderstandings being circulated regarding the community facility known as the Claremont Recreation Club (the Premises).
The Premises is located on Bay View Terrace comprises of a built community facility, two bowling greens and an abandoned bowling green currently used as car parking.
The Premises is situated on Crown Land in a Class A Reserve for ‘Parks and Recreation’. The Town has care and control of the land, which can only be used the purpose of ‘recreation’.
Up until early June 2022, the Committee had been managing the premises under a lease agreement with the Town. At the end of the lease agreement, all members of this Committee resigned, and a new group of people formed a Committee shortly after. Unfortunately, the prior Committee did not renew the lease and therefore there was no lease in existence for the new Committee to operate under.
While the new Committee requested to continue the existing lease, the Town was required to present this request to Council to consider. Whilst the matter was being considered, the Town agreed to the Committee remaining at the premises until end of August.
After a presentation from the new Committee to Council and a report, Council on 30 August offered the new Committee a two-year lease. A condition of the lease and (as per the zoning of the land) was that the new Committee, over a period of time, remove the previous Committee’s commercial car parking structure on the abandoned bowling green space.
The 2-year lease allowed the new Committee to have the opportunity to re-build the club whilst not locking them into a long-term lease and the financial obligations of that lease.
The new Committee chose not to accept this lease without discussion with the Town.
As the new Committee had no lease and had refused the lease offered by Council, they were asked to vacate the premises by 7 November. At the request of the new Committee, the Town has provided two extensions of time to allow them time to vacate. Their revised vacate date is 14 December 2022.
Contrary to comments made in the media and the information being circulated, the Town has no intention of developing the site into residential dwellings or high-rise flats. In fact, this is not possible due to the land being under a management order and zoned for the purpose of ‘recreation’. Furthermore, the future ‘manager’ of the site has not yet been determined by Council, and if it chooses to lease the facility out to a community-based group, it will do this in accordance with the Local Government Act 1995, section 3.58. This will ensure transparency and fairness of that process.
All of this information has been reaffirmed to the new Committee in a letter dated 3 November 2022.
Finally, and importantly, the current condition of the premises is unfortunately below standard, and in need of repairs to prevent further deterioration. Before determining a new manager of the Premises, the Town will take this time to make any necessary works to bring the condition of the building to a standard appropriate of the community’s recreational needs, for the betterment of the whole community.
The Town has been in contact with the current user groups to help reaccommodate them during this renovation period. If there are any other community groups who will be displaced during these renovations and have not yet communicated with the Town, please contact the Town on 9285 4300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor, Jock Barker
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