Resilient Wonthaggi fights for stadium
THE Wonthaggi Amateur Basketball Association is not giving up its fight for a highball facility in Wonthaggi.
President Cath Garnham said the association is still discussing what its next move will be, but rallies and petitions may come about.
“There is potential for a rally in the pipeline, but we would like to sit down with (Bass Coast Shire) council and explore our options,” she said.
Council decided not to apply for State Government funding to towards the highball facility on the grounds a detailed costing report had not been completed.
Ms Garnham said the decision had disappointed not only the association, but other sporting clubs and community groups as well.
“At the end of the day, this isn’t just about the basketball association. It is something the whole community needs and council needs to consider the big picture,” she said.
“The stadium will mean better facilities for multiple sports. Night netballers would be able to continue playing right throughout the year. There would be disabled access so it could be used by the Bass Coast Specialist School and Rose Lodge. A lot of people in the community can’t believe it has been knocked back. It’s very frustrating.”
The decision to knock back funding came just before another amazing feat by the Coasters’ U/16 girls’ team, which played in the grand final at the Victorian Country Championships recently. They were runners-up to Bendigo.
“The girls did an amazing job playing for our town,” Ms Garnham said.
“It is a real credit to them that they are able to excel to that level with the facilities we have. It has us all asking the question: ‘How much better would they be if they had a proper stadium?’”
Mayor Cr Pamela Rothfield said council understood the community’s disappointment, but there may still hope be for the stadium yet.
“We will continue to work with the association and other sporting groups for positive recreation outcomes,” she said.
“Councillors have varying reasons for supporting the decision. There is no reason to assume after council establishes its council plan and consequent financial plan that the situation, with respect to funding such a facility, could not be reconsidered.”
Council is working towards stabilising its finances and has committed to six annual service reviews. These reviews will continue for 2016-17, and have been planned for 2017-18, subject to the adoption of council’s budget.
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