Annual General Meeting
The AGM will be held on Friday the 26th of November. Details can be found on the Annual General Meeting page, including time, Agenda and other related documents and information.
THE SYDENHAM PARK DEVELOPMENT: AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE MISSED?
Members of the Taylors Lakes Sporting Club group of clubs, the Taylors Lakes Football Club, Netball Club, Cricket Club, Tennis Club and Basketball Club should all be aware of some developments at Council this week.
Members know facilities for our clubs and for all sporting activities in the Taylors Lakes area are in short supply. You can count them on one hand. Our organisation has been active since our inception in 1982 in the pursuit of improvements in local community sporting facilities. Starting with a Tennis Club we now have the group of clubs identified above. We have had some success as our main oval, turf cricket wickets and top quality tennis courts attest; but we still have a long way to go. Our Tennis rooms are condemnable, our Basketballers have nowhere to call home and our Netballers do not have a court to play on.
We are working on those issues. Council have advised there is an allocation for plans for new Tennis Club rooms in this year’s budget which should see some building activity in the next 2 to 3 years. Commendable for this Council, but still a long time since the Tennis Committee of 2012-13 was promised the same thing by Council members.
In 2015, ably assisted by local MP Natalie Hutchins, we commenced discussions with the Taylors Lakes Primary School and the Education Department to be involved as a partner to the school in the building of a competition indoor court suitable for our Basketball Club as well as other indoor activities. This year we have seen our regular communications to the Minister of Education appear to pay off with the Education Department allocating money towards the building of an indoor facility capable of competition play. Although no plans have been formalised at this stage, at least there is a glimmer of hope.
We have also made submissions in regards to upgrading other local ovals to accommodate our Cricket and Football teams and to establish courts for our Netball players.
Which brings me to the proposed development of Sydenham Park – that area north of the freeway, adjacent to the golf course and extending to the Organ Pipes National Park. Our organisation first became involved in discussions on the development of Sydenham Park in 2004 as a response to the Sydenham Park Strategy Plan by Gillespies Consultants. I have only vague memories of the plan and do not intend to climb into my ceiling for my dusty stored copy, but I recall the plan advised the area be developed largely for sport and recreation with a multitude of ovals and sporting facilities. Maybe I am just dreaming, but I think that was the gist of it. Council did not adopt or pursue that plan.
In 2018 Council paid further money to consultants and produced the 2019 Pollen Sydenham Park Master Plan and again our organisation made responses to the proposals put forward. In particular our Football Club via Hilary Pollock made a substantive submission identifying the ability to create multiple sporting facilities without losing valuable natural space for other forms of recreation. During this period we came into contact with the organisation Friends of Sydenham Park (FoSP) and established that our thoughts and responses on the plan were largely in sync. We supported their responses to Council and they ours.
In short we disagreed with several of the proposals such as:
- Destroying half of the current golf course and rebuilding it in a different location after Council has just spent 25 years getting it to its current state
- Evicting long term occupants of the area the Model Airplane Club and sending them who knows where
- Demolishing the historic homestead of the Robinsons Farm and relocating it to the carpark of the two ovals recommended near the freeway overpass
- Only providing two ovals for multiple sports??
The Football Club Submission and the FoSP Submission can be viewed via these links –
Move forward to the last couple of weeks. FoSP contacted our club to be involved in a discussion on the next step of Council. Both I and Hilary attended the meeting online with members of FoSP, the local historical society, the model airplane club, Keilor Golf Club and a representative of Friends of the Organ Pipes National Park. Of note was the presence of Bruce Lancashire of Council.
Pleasingly Council had also seen the absurdity of some of the consultant’s proposals. The Golf Club is not being destroyed- big Tick , the Model Airplane Club could stay – big Tick , the historical homestead building is to be left on its original site and hopefully restored – big Tick , but the sporting facilities still remain at two ovals.. – Cross .
The meeting agreed this was an opportunity for Council to provide some of the facilities so desperately needed in our area. Our major needs are Netball courts, Football Ovals, Cricket pitches, etc.. This is the time. This is the OPPORTUNITY… The meeting determined to ask Bruce as a Councillor to move a motion to progress the plan with the inclusion of at least one more oval and preferably allowances for more. We then spent time over the next few days contacting our Ward Councillors and other members of the Council rallying support for the amendment to give us that OPPORTUNITY.
The Council met recently to vote on the progression of the plan and the amendment motion to include a third oval was put by Bruce Lancashire, and supported by Councillor Ranka Rasic as well as two other Councillors. The motion was lost.
Our issue being if the plan goes ahead as is, the inclusion of further sporting facilities will become progressively difficult given other infrastructure such as walking and biking tracks that are being planned. The OPPORTUNITY will be lost.
It is our belief the area can support further sporting facilities without substantially impacting on the overall park. The area suggested, to the left of the overpass and road to the golf club, has been farmed land since 1860 or before and has been farmed up until only 40 years ago. It is not in a native condition and has not been so for over 130 years. It’s value as native parkland is limited, it’s value as a community sports facility is immense.
We need facilities. We need Council to take this opportunity to provide them. There are very few open areas left in Taylors Lakes that can provide the space needed. Not too long now before any of the remaining open areas will be gone.
If you agree that our area needs more facilities for our local sports people, for our children and our grandchildren, and their children to use for physical endeavour, for health and community wellbeing you need to let our Council know.
You need to contact Council and ask for this decision to be reviewed, to be reconsidered, and to be reassessed with the needs of our local sports teams and their members as an important part of the plan for any community space.
Council contact details can be found on the Brimbank Council website or you can make a response via the page on this link:
PLEASE NOTE: Our club will not tolerate any contact with Councillors or Council staff that is disrespectful, discourteous, threatening or bullying. We ask you state your opinion in a courteous, appropriate manner for the betterment of the club and our community.
John Rumbelow, Secretary. Taylors Lakes Sporting Club Inc.
Footballs season was cut short due to Covid but they are in the process of rebuilding for next season.
The Football AGM was held recently and the club is already looking at building towards 2022. See details of team signings and news on the their web page and social media which you can access via the link to the Football Club.
The various Clubs have managed the ongoing Covid impacts very well. Thank you to all the Committee members, helpers and doers around the Clubs. There is still a long way to go over the next few seasons to recover the ground that has been lost. Even though we have done well to date, actually restarting and getting back to normal will still take some time and will be economically difficult. The impact of Covid is not over yet.
The Club is updating our Signage to reflect the new name and appearance to the local community. See the current suggestions on the link on our AGM info page.
Budget Impacts on our Club
The Victorian State Budget has identified spending of 7.5M at the Primary School and 2.3M at the Secondary College. Both may impact on our Club. The Primary School upgrades include the commencement of work on an indoor competition capable gym – what we have been working for with our Basketball Club (assisted by Football in particular) over the last 4 years or so with discussion held with the TLPS, Council and most importantly Natalie Hutchins MP. We need to thank Natalie for her support on this issue over those years and the positive news to date. See the Press Release from Natalie here..
We will keep you updated on details of these upgrades as they become know to us.