When I’ll be at Unley Oval Throughout July

An Unley Oval for all. An Unley oval for passive recreational use that can efficiently and cost effectively be the home ground for Sturt Football training and home games.

This Council wants to bring together all users harmoniously and has taken many positive steps to achieve this end. The future of the oval as an adaptive ground that families enjoy celebrating their child’s birthday on just as readily as they enjoy attending a Sturt game.

So far the response to the Eastern Courier Messenger report has been positive. The report titled, “Oval future to shape election” looks at how the upcoming local government election will be influenced by what the community believes Council’s involvement should be in making changes to Unley Oval.

During the 2010 Mayoral election many people commented on the fractured relationship between Council and Sturt. Consequently I made, “To assist Sturt Football Club” and election pledge.

Article in the Eastern Courier Messenger

Council’s sponsorship of the Club during the 2011 footy season was the first step and I thank Sturt FC staff and Council staff for making that happen. The willingness of both the Board of Sturt and the staff, of Elected Members and Council staff to come together and talk through long held and deeply entrenched views has been a source of community healing.

During my 4 years as Mayor, on the topic of Unley Oval and Sturt, the majority of people who have spoken or written to me, have said they want to see improvements made to the oval which assist everyone. Most people include Sturt in the mix when they talk about wanting to help everyone. Most people want to see some improvements to the oval that help Sturt and considering that nearly every improvement to the oval in the last 20 years, costing well over a million dollars has been directed towards making the space a community park, who could blame members of the community for wanting some improvements that help Sturt?

But maybe I’ve missed a huge segment of the community. Maybe there still exists a large number of people in the community who are so grumpy with Sturt that they’ll do anything, including being so outraged at a picket fence that they’ll rally against it. So just to be sure, I’m going to go down to Unley Oval:

Thursday 10th 7:00am – 9:00am

Friday 11th 7:00am – 9:00am

Saturday 12th 7:00am – 9:00am (due to the weather look for me in the shopping center)

Thursday 17th 7:00am – 9:00am

Friday 18th 7:00am – 8:30am

Thursday 24th 7am – 9:00am

In the mean time, community consultation continues. So have your say by clicking the link here

The Oval is a wonderful space for families to celebrate their children’s birthdays and for people to recreate. Some simple improvements, like a fence, upgraded lighting and renovated club rooms won’t impinge on the enjoyment of the place for those who don’t play footy. Oh, and don’t think Council will be funding this on its own. Any improvements made will see significant contributions from Sturt FC and we hope, from the State and Federal Governments.

And just to tidy up a loose end, Cr. Mike Hudson is a great bloke and a good champion of the community. He is showing signs of being very supportive towards Sturt FC and just because he doesn’t want a picket fence doesn’t mean he’s against Sturt per se.

rel=author Lachlan Clyne






Categories: Community in Unley, Election 2014, Sports in Unley

7 replies

  1. Totally agree with your article here Lachlan. Unfortunately the Unley area has a history of a vocal minority getting their own way. A white picket fence around Unley Oval would look magnificent and anyone disagreeing or feels loathed to walk 50 meters to an open gate to get onto the Oval should come clean about their real angst………deep anti Sturtism. No other reason !!!!

    PS – Keep up the good work and you have our household vote !!!

    • What a lot of rot Michael, this is not about who likes Sturt or who doesn’t. I am a Sturt supporter and I also appreciate what the oval has become since they left sometime in the 1980s. Sturt need a fence (or a part fence, the temporary boundary fence is not put up all the way around the oval, most of the southern end is not fenced) on the few – maybe 9 or 10 – times a year when they play an A grade game at Unley. They would like to have a fence there permanently, they don’t need it. This issue is about saving the Sturt Football Club ~$15,000 per year, the cost of putting up the boundary fence, and the wider community losing the open space of the oval because of it.

      • Well JM you clearly aren’t across all the issues at hand. You see not only do Sturt Football Club require a fence but also Sturt Cricket Club are very much in need of a fence as well. So you best align yourself (thus showing your unbias) towards the Sturt Cricket Club as well. Look forward to seeing you at the next Sturt home game.

  2. I went to the Oval today to meet with Mayor Clyne but was unable to find you Lachlan. Bit disappointed as was looking forward to discussing developments of the Oval etc.

  3. Just a question,
    How can the Mayor be so vocal towards an issue prior to considering the feedback from the Unley ratepayers and community?

    I know you are a person of integrity and would not want to diminish the office of the Mayor so I ask would it be appropriate for you to vote on this issue given your stated position. Would it not be prudent to abstain from a vote given that you have a perceived conflict of interest?

    When you raise the issue of what the Council has spent on the development of Unley Oval as a community park, you quote that it is well over a million dollars, yet you fail to raise the issue of how much has been spent on supporting the Sturt Football Club over the same period. When I asked you about this at the Oval this past week you indicated that it would be a difficult number to calculate.

    I challenge you to bring in an independent accountant to determine how much money the Unley Council (rate payers) have provided to the Sturt Football Club over this time period in terms of funding, donations, extinguished loans, so called “strategic investment”, infrastructure costs, write downs , write offs, etc and let ratepayers determine whether this is a worthy investment on their behalf.

    • Hi JM,

      Thanks for leaving a comment and thanks for coming over to let me know what you think in relation to the oval.

      I know that you’re interested in and are considering running for council so I’m happy go through the balance with you. There is a point in time at which a decision is made by council and this is at the council meeting. Leading up to a council meeting the elected members are entitled to an opinion on what they think should occur and should discuss their opinions with members of the community in order to gauge if they are on the right track or not.

      In this instance I had formed the opinion leading into the decision that the picket fence was overwhelmingly supported by a majority of people that I was speaking to.

      After pointing this out I then went to the oval and met a number of people who are against the picket fence.

      I still feel that the majority of people are in favor of a picket fence but I now know that there are more people against the fence than first thought.

      I will wait to see the outcome of the consultation and will be guided by what those comments indicate.

      If the majority of people are against a picket fence I will most sincerely reassess my position.

      I’m not the only elected member who has expressed an opinion on this issue. Others have letter boxed their opinion or helped in the crafting of flyers. That’s all part of the ongoing democratic conversation between elected members and the public prior to the time of decision.

      I hope that clarifies the matter.

      On the issue of the accounting, I’m happy to do some work on that but my feeling is we would find Council has contributed comparatively little to the Sturt FC over the last 25 years and indeed our own staff have been independently told that we have not kept the facilities up to standard as a landlord should.

      All food for thought. Happy to catch up anytime.

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