Providing Local Leadership: Managing the use of Goodwood Oval

Managing the use of Goodwood Oval is the elephant in the room as we redevelop the grandstand and consider the use of the Hockey Field.

Indeed, it may be fairer to say managing the overuse of Goodwood Oval.

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Everyone should know how proud I am of the various sporting clubs residing in the west of the City of Unley. This small geographical area boasts some very successful clubs. Leaders in their competitions. The Goodwood Saints Football Club and the Goodwood Roos Cricket Club feature prominently.

Both are community clubs. Both have extensive junior programs. This may be the testimony to their undoubted success. Their programs, particularly their junior programs, fit beautifully into the Active Unley program of Council.

Trouble is they are doing so well that the facility known as Goodwood Oval is suffering from overuse. There is a need therefore for to be better managing the use of Goodwood Oval.

The community and the Council need to encourage the clubs to continue to provide what they are offering. We need however to find ways to help them do this and to allow the rest of the community access to this marvellous facility.

In managing the use of Goodwood Oval, we have two directions I will be promoting.

Council has, under my guiding, endorsed the first of these. That is to investigate redeveloping Ridge Park up at Myrtle Bank for junior sport. This will commence soon.

The second I have started prompting on. That is to explore resurfacing the whole of the Oval. If this is an option, if this potentially creates an oval that can handle the traffic, it needs to be explored.

Now is the time to do this too. With the Grandstand soon to be demolished and a new one built there can be no better time to explore our options here.

At the very least we need to examine the reconstruction of the centre pitch area.

By providing local leadership I am intent on advocating on behalf of the whole Clarence Park ward community for this to occur. Sporting Clubs and residents alike.

Aggrieved Residents Around Goodwood receive Double Dose of Aggravation

To the chagrin of aggrieved residents the Goodwood Saints Football Club this week successfully applied to have an extension of light use at Goodwood Oval for training and for night matches.

Their application was heard and unanimously approved by the Council Assessment Panel (CAP).

Goodwood Oval LightsThe CAP is a body constituted under the Development Act. It has 4 independent members and 1 elected member. It hears and makes planning decisions on behalf of Council. Council’s elected body has no involvement in this process and is not able to impact on their decisions.

Residents and others, as required under the Act, made representations to the panel. 150 of them. 77 in favour and 73 against. 9 Aggrieved Residents backed up their written representations verbally on the night.

I am proud of my neighbours. They presented well and focused on planning issues. This is important as the Panel Members must make their decisions based on Planning principles.

I am proud too of the Panel Members. Their individual explanations indicated their interpretation of planning formed their respective opinions. This even though their opinion differed from the Residents.

With the decision favouring the Club, aggrieved residents may consider lodging an appeal. The ERD Court would hear any such appeal. Anyone considering appealing have 14 days to consider this.

I say aggrieved because they (the residents) feel the club is, by way of bracket creep, eating into their use of the facility and intrusion into their amenity.

These aggrieved residents unfortunately are now catching a double dose of aggravation with a section of the media choosing to pass judgement without knowing the facts.

Two Radio stations that I am aware of have covered this storey. Unfortunately however, news is littered with half-truths, myths and prejudices. Accordingly this compounds the agony for these residents.

One station chose to run an anti-resident campaign holding themselves up as knowing the facts. The other radio station researched the storey and the facts and covered it accordingly.

The first radio station focused on the right of girls to be able to play at the same venue as their brothers. It is quite appropriate to argue that case and I support that.

Their lack of research meant they failed however to even attempt to understand what the residents’ concerns were. Accordingly they ignored concerns that included extending the grief they already experience with illegal parking and not being able to access their driveways. The Oval being restricted to 2 nights a week was conveniently ignored.  And other like issues and I do not support that.

What they did was to ignore these very important issues. I guess this may be because they did not bother to research it.

They focused on the observation of just one resident. One of 73.

The Radio Station simply argued that lights will be turned off before bed time, or covered with a blind. So what’s the problem was their focus. Never mind noise and anti-social behaviour etc even though the Club acknowledges this.

They failed to check that the Oval is already being overused, even though the Club acknowledges this.

Any extension of the use by the club not only eats into the time they (the residents) might have access, but potentially makes the Oval unfit for the remaining access time they may have.

The other station understood this and reported accurately and without opinion.

For all that, Council has a responsibility.

The issues raised in this blog are issues that Council will have to manage, along with the Club and the residents.

We will. We already are. Let’s face it, it is our responsibility. The Club has confirmed publically that it has a responsibility too. Accordingly we should be able to work with them to address the concerns of their neighbours.

Watch for future blogs to see what we are doing.

Light Tension at Goodwood Oval as Saints Seek More illumination.

Our Council Assessment Panel will feel a light tension this Tuesday night. The Panel meets on that night to adjudicate on a single Development Application.

This application has prompted a not so light tension within the local community. This means it is the only application considered on the night.

Goodwood Oval LightsWith 4 independent members and just one elected member they are appointed under the Development Act to represent Council. They must assess applications based on the Act, the Development Regulations and the City of Unley Development Plan.

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On Tuesday night they must decide whether to accept or refuse a Development Application by the Goodwood Saints Football Club. The club is seeking to extend the hours of use of the lights at Goodwood Oval.

As part of the process of determining the fate of the application they have received no fewer than 150 representations. Around half of these oppose the proposed development, half support. Some of those who have provided a representation will take the opportunity to verbally present to the Panel.

The tension between the Club and nearby residents caused by this application should not deter the Panel from their responsibility under the Act. That said I imagine there will be more than just a light tension in the gallery on Tuesday night.

As they exist courtesy of the Development Act and not the Local Government Act the panel cannot be lobbied. This is unlike when Council considers an issue. Even Council can’t influence them.

When the Panel read representations or hear testimonies they must evaluate them in purely development plan terms. This is enhanced with the influence of elected member diminished to just one of five. This courtesy, of course, of the former Planning Minister John Rau.

The big question is, will they agree with the recommendation of Council’s Planning Department who believe the application is not seriously at variance to the Development Plan.

What is the best use of the Forestville Hockey Field after they leave?

Residents around the Goodwood Oval will be aware of the pending move of the Forestville Hockey Club away from the Forestville Hockey Field at Goodwood Oval. Others, not so close to the Oval, may not.

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The Club is set to move to the Women’s Memorial Playing Fields at Ayliffes Road, St Mary’s. For those not aware, they were recipients of the big spend by the previous Government during the recent State Elections.

Rather than wait for the shift from the Hockey Field to occur I believe we should start talking now about how we might use the field when they shift. Now is the time for our community to have a deep and meaningful conversation. A conversation that will allow a seamless move from the old use to the new.

Jennie moved a motion at the February Council meeting that I seconded to to allow for a public consultation to be included in next year’s budget. You don’t have to wait until then however to participate in the conversation.

Goodwood Saints LogoI say that because the Cricket Club has already communicated a desire to use the Hockey Field for junior sport. The Football Club will no doubt see a similar opportunity.

Unley United Soccer Club, who train on the Hockey Field during winter, may also see an opportunity. Tennis SA likewise may see an opportunity to extend their courts to provide deeper backdrops. Discussions I have had with them suggest otherwise but?

Hmmmmm! Any incursion by the clubs may not necessarily be a bad thing however. It may open the main oval up for the general public.

Jennie & I would love to hear from everyone who wishes to participate in the conversation from as early as now. We don’t need to wait on our administration to gear up for consultation to commence talking.

Colin “Tiny” Nelson honoured

As I reported in my post on this website back on the 29 th April Colin “Tiny” Nelson was honoured today with the naming of the grandstand at Goodwood Oval.

 

A truly life time servant to Football in Goodwood Colin”Tiny”Nelson has been recognised by the City of Unley, the AFL and even with an AOM. Today the Grandstand at Goodwood Oval, as approved by Council back in April and reported by me, was named the Colin “Tiny”Nelson AOM Grandstand.

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Today was a good day with the weather behaving as well as it has for a month or so. The Sainters had a good day too with both the A’s and the B’s winning. I trust the U18’s who will be playing under lights very shortly will fly the flag also.

As I indicated in my previous blog about Colin “Tiny” Nelson being recognised, he is absolutely the sort of person a grandstand should be named after. What I learnt today adds to what I have previously said about “Tiny”. Not content with the service he provided as a young man unable to play because of a bad injury, service that prompted life membership of the then Goodwood Football Club in his early twenties, he probably can be considered the saviour of the club during its darkest moment.

Colin Nelson had the foresight (guts if you will) to consider and encourage the amalgamation of the Goodwood Football Club with St Raphael’s Football Club at a time when the club was not succeeding at any level. This is the stuff of a true leader.

The story of the amalgamated club is one of ongoing and continuous success. Who knows the club may not existing in any form today if not for the bravery of one Colin”Tiny”Nelson. As it is however the Goodwood Saints Football Club is the most respected and revered club in the amateur league.

Mayor Lachlan Clyne was on hand to unveil a picture of the occasion which he presented to Tiny.

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