The Town of Mosman Park has been working closely with the community to find a way forward to ensure the ongoing viability and use of its soccer playing field at Nash Field and the club building on site.
At last night’s Council meeting, Mayor of Mosman Park, Brett Pollock, advised that despite serious endeavours to secure terms for the re-signing of the lease for the building and the playing fields, that negotiations with the current tenant had not yet been concluded.
“I want to be clear that the Town and the Council are supportive and appreciative of the great work that has been done by the Western Knights Soccer Club over many years to promote soccer in our Town – a sport that has the highest participation rate for junior team sport in the country, and that is thriving here in Mosman Park – a fact borne out by our recent Sport and Recreation Plan,” Mayor Pollock said.
“But the fact is that it would constitute a breach of our duty of care for the Town to provide exclusive, ongoing occupancy and use of a Council building without a formal lease in place,” he said.
Mayor Pollock explained that lease agreements for Council buildings were essential for ensuring that proper standards were maintained in terms of access, health and safety, and the management of risk for all involved. He said Council had leases in place for many of its facilities, and that this is best practice governance for all local government.
He said that over the past 8 years the Town had invested $173,000 in the building at Nash Field and a further $43,700 in maintaining the soccer pitch located next to the clubrooms as well as Davis Oval, which was regularly used by the Western Knights for both fixtures and regular training, thereby demonstrating the Town’s commitment to helping the Club to thrive at its current location.
“We have gone out of our way to be helpful – we have offered multiple extensions of time, and very reasonable terms, but these buildings and grounds need to be managed properly and according to legislative requirements in terms of both local and state law.”
Mayor Pollock said that Council now needed to decide whether it should examine all viable options going forward, which by law includes the offering of the site to other potential tenants as well as to the Western Knights.
“This isn’t an easy decision for Council,” he said “but our role is to ensure that we support our community in finding the best use of the oval and facilities at Nash Field, for the benefit of all.”
He said the Town would keep residents advised of the outcomes as Council considers the matter formally at the Council meeting that would be held on 28 August 2018.