Tuross Progress Hall
at 6:00pm on Friday April 30th, 2010
THPA invited Council to attend a Special meeting to explain the
Draft Recreation and Open Space Strategy to the community and to
answer specific questions in regards to the
proposed removal of two of the four Tuross Tennis Courts.
Special edition of the Tuross Head community newsletter had
the week before to offer the community an informed background.
meeting was chaired by the President of the THPA who welcomed
Mayor Fergus Thomson, Council's General Manager Paul Anderson, Councillors
Lindsay Brown, Keith Dance and Graham Scobie, Council staff and
representatives of various tennis clubs and other associations in
the Shire. There were 92 members of the public present.
Thomson stated that Tuross was a strong community and that fact
is well recognised. Council also recognises that sometimes there
needs to be changeand some changes need to be accepted. Council
is consious of all the issues in regards to the tennis courts however
current and future budgets, as they stand, may not support the retention
of these facilities and the Strategy looks closely at this issue.
Roads and Recreation Director, Warren Sharpe, raised the example
of the initial reluctance by the community to embrace the change
of market and community location to Riverside Park. This change
had to be worked with the community and the new park was now enjoyed
and well utilised by many.
Strategic Planner, Lane Tucker, gave an overview
of the Draft Strategy and then addressed each of the questions
asked specifically by the Tuross Progress Association that related
to the Tuross component of the Draft Strategy, in particular the
Tennis court proposal.
Brennan, Council's Recreation manager spoke at length on the financial
aspect of tennis clubs needing to be, as best possible, self funded
to ensure that there is money set aside for refurbishment of facilities
when the time comes. The figures referred to by Leisa are available
link and form part of the presentation given by Council on the
informed the meeting that Tennis NSW has been invited to the Shire
to advise on how Council and its many Tennis Clubs can encourage
a higher court usage.
was clearly described that the cost of maintenance and refurbishment
needs to be met by
player fees and that Council is happy to discuss in detail measures
that might help tennis Clubs and Council reduce the funding gap.
There is a proposal to increase player fees however other avenues
might also be available. The Tuross Tennis Club is invited to pursue
on from the presentation the Tuross Head Tennis Club President Vic
Smith read his statement which is as follows:
Progress Association Meeting with Eurobodalla Shire Council Representative
30th April 2010
As President of the Tuross Tennis Club, I am amazed at the lack
of consultation the Council has had with the Club and its members
and the wider community of Tuross Heads . The Tennis courts which
were built by the Tuross community and have been, in the large part
maintained by the members of the Tuross Tennis Club have been selected
for removal under the current plan, for what we see as no good reason.
The 4 courts are used on a regular basis 4-5 times per week, 52
weeks a year. We have a membership of 70 persons ranging in age
from under 18’s to 80 plus. Four courts are a necessity, especially
for our Social games on Monday and Saturday morning, when as many
as 18 plus players arrive to play on the courts. The courts are
also used on a regular basis by residents and visitors to Tuross
The returns from the Tuross Tennis Club to the Council
since July 2008 to the present time have been $9444.90. Whilst Council
maintenance during that period has been minimal. Returns from local
bookings at Sails Café during the December 09 – January
2010 also show 93 court bookings and a return of $1072 to Council
during that period.
Whilst courts 1 & 2 are lit and used for day & for night
games, Courts 3 & 4 are used for daylight play and are preferred
in winter when the lower courts are shaded, damp and unsafe for
At the present time, we have been advised that courts 1& 2 have
a life of 8 years with maintenance, whilst courts 3 & 4 have
a life of 5 years with maintenance; (that is before resurfacing
Council is also proposing a 74% increase in player fees, is this
to support the loss of fees from the closures of courts 3 &
Council is proposing the removal of 2 very usable courts; which
have the possibility of continued use for another 5 years and which
are capable of raising revenue for the Council, for reasons which
we are unable to support, that being:
To “remove two tennis courts in line with rationalization
shire wide and supply club house upgrade and court resurfacing”
The courts are a popular venue because as Council states in the
strategy they fulfill the following needs;
Pg 9 (of the Draft Strategy) They provide an opportunity to cater
for youth & children in the area
Pg 12 Council needs to provide facilities to meet demand and attract
young families to the area, and here they are at Kyla Park
Pg12 Older persons need to participate in recreational pursuits
for health and well being, and they do so here at Kyla Park Tennis
Courts, many of our members are in their 60’s, 70’s
P18 High dependence on local transport to reach recreational facilities
and spaces, makes the courts at Kyla Park very attractive for local
residents, as public transport to reach other facilities is nonexistent.
P18 Residents show a strong commitment to membership of community
groups & clubs and retain a high level of ownership over facilities
and spaces they use – enough said that is why we are here
P26 Council advises “Seniors require passive recreation opportunities”
perhaps some do, but many others also require very active recreation
opportunities, such as provided at present at Kyla Park
P26 Council advises “Youth require…….sporting
facilities” so they do, such as Tennis Courts, Net Ball courts
and the oval currently at Kyla Park, with plenty of open space to
facilitate the addition of more facilities without the removal of
those presently in place.
I can go on further but will instead end with three questions to
Council representatives here tonight;
1. Why are we taking away an existing well used facility for no
obvious relevant reason?
2. What happens with the money raised from the Tuross Tennis Courts?
3. Can we have an assurance from council that this money be spent
on the Tuross Tennis Courts ?
Tuross Tennis Club
President, Michael Johnson, then invited questions from the floor
that saw questions
fly in thick and fast.
Why not wait until the courts need waork and then put it to the
community to raise the funds?
Sharpe replied : "Council can't rely on raffles to raise funds
and needs to have a larger community plan as well as show prudent
management by having a sound longterm financial plan"
is happy to work with the community to turn it around keeping in
mind that it needs to do this across the whole Shire".
to renew the assets we currently have show that Councils across
NSW are under financed. We need to look at better ways of managing
user fees and rates as well as determining where we place our future
Can Council consider determining realistic figures for replacement
costs that will then reveal a more accurate bottom line that can
then be used to determine the actual fees required to "break
Tennis Club has been invited to discus in detail levels of service
of court replacement and actual annual maintenance needs. On closer
investigation it might be found that the "Funding Gap' is actually
reduced and achievable as would an increase in utilisation attract
Why not let the community look after it and have Council return
the courts to the community?
identified that the Strategy is in place for a 20 year plan and
that by handing the facility back to the community there would be
no guarantee of the next generation of Tennis Player coming forward
to volunteer as the current generation does. Without a community
contingency plan Council needs to set in place a realistic means
of finding funds form current users that will directly contribute
to any work required in the short term and the eventual replacement
of the asset without burdening the next generation.
The proposal to sell community Public Reserve - would the money
remain in Tuross.
answered in this question and another later on that if the land
was re-classified and sold it could be developed with a two story
home. Though it was stated that the money could be reserved to be
used on Tuross recreation there was no firm commitment to this.
residents who wish to see this public reserve retained must make
a submission to Council expressing this by May 28th.
Is there a proportion of Rates paid to Recreation?
is however it is not specifically earmarked for tennis courts or
for specific Tuross facilities. Fees currently cover maintenancecost
but not renewals. Tuross tennis fees are put into a sinking fund
however there is not enough coming in to cover future facility replacement.
Trip hazards fromm tree roots that are now making their way into
the court area - who is responsible if there is a fall.
generally agreed that Council staff will revisit the tennis courts
and look at the tree issue.
Is there an increase in other user fees or is it just tennis?
revealed that there was a focus on making tennis facilities self
funding as there was little in the way of any guarantee that Council
would be able to meet any shortfall in funds required to resurface.
"Council won't need to increase its fees if Tuross Tennis can
increase its utilisation"
of regional facilities such as Hanging Rock reserve had seen a windfall
of investment into the facility in the way of lights.
discussion revealed that no-one was rushing in to remove the courts.
It was a matter of when the courts will need replacement. it was
agreed that establishing a better line of communication would help
keep the asset in the community. It was important for the community
to analyse the true costs and to weigh up its needs accordingly.
was a general show of hands by the majority to the suggestion that
nothing be done to the courts until they run their life.
The meeting closed at 7:45pm
thanks to all those who attended:
Councillors and Council staff
representatives of the many tennis clubs.
representatives of the other interested clubs.
Tuross Head tennis players
the Progress Assoc members and members of the Tuross community
to the President of the THPA who kept the meeting civil and positive.
of the Tuross Head Community are encouraged to read the Draft Strategy
and make their submissions (in support or against the Strategy)
by May 28th, 2010.
primary issue of the public meeting was the proposed removal of
two tennis courts however the Draft Strategy also proposes disposal
of community owned land and the use of Kyla Grazing lots for the
purpose of model aircraft flying - if you have an opinion then write