More time to set up pavilion

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Main user of Hay Park South Multi Sports Pavilion welcomes council’s decision to defer a decision over its management.
Camera IconMain user of Hay Park South Multi Sports Pavilion welcomes council’s decision to defer a decision over its management. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

One of the main users of the Hay Park South Multi Sports Pavilion has welcomed Bunbury City Council’s decision to defer a decision over its management.

The facility remains in limbo after the council was forced to take over management in 2017, just months after the multi-million-dollar pavilion was opened.

An initial lease agreement between the South West Phoenix Soccer and South West Warriors Rugby League clubs was annulled after the forming of an association failed to come to fruition.

The council was last week set to retain management, but after a passionate presentation from Phoenix president Guy Italiano, the matter was deferred to March.

Mr Italiano said the council’s agenda item tarnished the club’s reputation and contradicted the ongoing negotiations over the facility.

Mr Italiano told the South Western Times the club was happy the matter was deferred and hoped for a successful resolution.

“What I want to see happen is for this pavilion to function as it was set out to function — a multi-sport pavilion, run under management by one single entity for the benefit of the members,” he said.

“Moving forward with the facility, I’m happy that we’re able to get some deferment until March because it means that both parties can actually sit down and look at all the options.

“We will always work with the City of Bunbury to get a resolution for the pavilion.

“Our ideal solution is to have an association in place made up of members from different sporting clubs and different sporting communities that want to be a part of that facility and utilise that facility, so we’ll keep working with those parties to come along.”

Mayor Gary Brennan confirmed the council’s end goal was for an association to take over.

“I hope that there is an association formed that can then take over the running and management of the building, it’s not core business for us,” Mr Brennan said.

“Based on Mr Italiano’s comments, they’re very keen to form an association and assume management responsibility for the stadium so I’m looking forward to that occurring.”

In response to Mr Italiano’s claims that the agenda item was not a fair representation of the club, Mr Brennan said miscommunication played a part.

“I put it down to miscommunication or lack of and then interpretation of what was said, or not said,” he said.

“So there has to be a meeting of minds and the only way to resolve it is to physically get together, eyeball each other and have a discussion around the points that are outstanding.”

Mr Italiano said the addition of new lighting at Hay Park was a “game changer” in the facility’s future.

“That facility has just got so much potential for us and for all the users, it’s just a matter of making it happen,” he said.

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