Letters to the editor

Multi sports facility an opportunity not be missed

I would like to express my views on the multipurpose sports facility proposal to be soon presented by the Cleve Sporting Bodies to the District Council of Cleve.

It is up to us as individuals, community groups and the business sector to encourage our council to fully consider, support and adopt the proposal to establish a new sporting facility, that will meet the needs of the community for future generations.

The size of grants available for a venture like this is quite substantial but are dependent largely on the amount of council support, both financial and in kind.

The Cleve Sporting Bodies is the council’s largest sporting facility hosting football, netball, tennis (the only junior comp in the council area), cricket and basketball (also the only senior and junior comp in the district). Hopefully softball, golf and bowls will come on board at some stage.

The Cleve Sporting Bodies Clubrooms is also one of the oldest buildings facilitating sport throughout the district.

While the building has served the community well, it was built by hardworking volunteers and community members but unfortunately the building would not pass many of today’s building standards.

The suggestion that this damaged facility should be rebuilt and repaired is unrealistic and not practical.

Even if it were repaired, it still would not meet the high building specifications required today.

The damaged Cleve facility and the proposed new improved multipurpose sports facility presents the Cleve District Council with an excellent opportunity to implement and consider one of their own major strategies in their Strategic Plan 2016-2021.

Why have a strategic plan if, when the opportunity arises, the council does not consider, support or implement it?

Like many other major towns across the Eyre Peninsula and the state, we need to centralise our facilities to the business, social and geographic centre of Cleve.

The sporting facilities are less than 40 minutes drive to Cleve on a bitumen road from any council boundary.

With declining numbers throughout our district, it is getting harder to fill many of our sporting teams.

In 1989 our school had 280 secondary school students, it currently less than 100.

In the last two years I can quite easily think of 50,000 plus acres of land which has changed ownership with not one new family into the district.

In the last 25 years farms in our council area have all got bigger.

Many stand alone farmers have sold up and bought out by neighbours.

If someone could tell me that our numbers are going to improve in coming years and how that will happen, I would change my thinking on the importance of this proposal.

In 40 to 50 years we still need to still have our own local grocery store, hardware store, insurance agency, tyre shops, electrical retailer, hotel, butcher and any of the other wonderful businesses we have today.

The council needs to create a healthy business, social and sporting centre in the heart of our council area, to encourage and sustain the use of our only hospital, police station, medical facilities, aged care, aged hostel, area school and kindergarten within our council boundaries.

The ever threatening possibility of businesses leaving our council area to the bigger retailers in larger towns less than two hours away is very strong.

Many of our local businesses and sporting clubs across our region strongly support the proposal of this multi function sports centre.

The council needs to gain local business opinion on this important topic.

The need to have capability to host major functions such as weddings, information days, conferences would be enhanced by this proposal. (The SA Rural Women’s Gathering later this year is a good example.)

The inter school sports day was another example of our present inadequate facilities.

The question has to be asked, does the council have the vision and drive to adopt the recommendation of their own five-year strategic plan and support this opportunity of a multi sports function centre to assist our whole community to go forward positively.

There is a large window of opportunity to secure this multi function sports facility to replace our most used and oldest sports facility.

It would accommodate many of our communities’ sporting requirements, the facilities to host large community events, facilities to help attract young people to come and to stay within our community, and to stimulate local business within our council area.

If the answer is no the opportunity will be lost forever, we will never get a better opportunity presented to our council area.

The council in my opinion needs to have a bigger input into this proposal, not only with support and financial assistance, but also to engage a planning officer to help steer and develop this proposal.

If the council is willing to support this they should also have some serious input into the establishment of the proposal, it is in the community’s best interest for the future.

MARK HANNEMANN

Cleve

Eyre Peninsula Tribune letters to the editor

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