Major Phone Outage - Saturday, 23 February

Due to a major phone upgrade the City's phones will be unavailable between 1-6pm Saturday 23 February. During the outage you can call Community Safety Service 1300  653 643 or Rangers 0418 943 219. 

Close alert

Misinformation Corrected

number of public statements, allegations and comments have been and continue to be made, regarding the City's Lawn Bowls Strategy and reports.

In response, the City has taken the time to carefully analyse each of the allegations and statements, and has concluded that they have no basis in fact, are highly inaccurate, misinformed and therefore misleading.

Here is the analysis:

Allegation or Statement City's Analysis

That the City lied regarding the low sustainability of the Melville Bowling Club 

 

There is no statement in the 21 June 2018 or 18 October 2016 officers report to the Council that makes that statement, nor in the attached City of Melville Lawn Bowls Strategy or City of Melville Lawn Bowls Strategy Supplementary Information September 2016. 

The Lawn Bowls Strategy document of May 2016 on page 38 Section 9.1, which deals with Sustainability, assesses all the bowling clubs in the City using a classification matrix contained in the Bowls WA Facility Review and Development Plan, September 2010. 

Using this matrix shows the sustainability of Melville Bowling Club is classified as “Low” based on having six or four greens in action. Note this matrix was developed by the peak body representing the sport of bowls in WA being Bowls WA – not by the consultant engaged by the City to research and prepare the Lawn Bowls Strategy report or the City, and was based on factual information at the time the strategy was prepared.

When adopting the Bowls Strategy elected members and senior executive were seeking to improve the sustainability of the Sport across the City of Melville, not just the sustainability of individual clubs including the Melville Bowling Club.

    That the City lied about attracting government sports funding.

     

    The City  has successfully attracted a funding commitment of $700,000 from the Department of Sports and Recreation under the CSRFF program.
    That the City has over emphasised pennant bowls and provided misinformation in reports regarding the popularity of social bowls

    The Lawn Bowls Strategy and officers reports make no secret of the fact the must focus most heavily on the provision of facilities for pennant bowls, however they do not remain silent with respect to the role of social bowls. 

    It is quite clear the City provides bowling facilities primarily for pennant bowls, secondly recognises their appropriate use for social bowls and lastly that the associated facilities will be used for social activities other than bowls. 

    All of these activities will continue to take place in the upgraded Tompkins Park facility and in fact due to the bowling surfaces being synthetic and covered at the upgraded Tompkins Park venue, will be better provisioned for social bowls activities.

    The reports and Lawn Bowls Strategy reported the latest credible information that was available with respect to social bowls at the time.  Page 25 of the Lawn Bowls Strategy May 2016 notes with respect to the Bowls Australia Census Report 2014 that “social bowls is not only the major growth segment (with school programs) but it has become the major area of participation in recent years. Social bowls is now established as, by far, the largest participation segment in bowls”.  This comment is in relation to the overall national scene. It also notes in the table following those comments that Social Participation had decreased by 5.09% in Western Australia from 2010 to 2014 compared to the 22.45% increase across Australia over the same period.  The source was quoted as http://www.bowlsaustralia.com.au/Portals/9/Census/2014-Census.pdf.  The source document was rechecked during this analysis and the numbers for WA confirmed to be correct.

     The September 2016 City of Melville Lawn Bowls Strategy Supplementary Information attached to the report to the Ordinary Meeting of the Council held on Tuesday 18 October 2016 stated as follows:

    Social Bowls Facility Utilisation

    1. The nature and scale of bowls greens use by social bowlers was investigated via discussions with clubs and the completed survey information provided by the clubs. Observations include;
    2. • Greens are used by many people attending social events where bowls are a feature of the booking
    3. • Many capitated playing members utilise social bowling opportunities such as informal organised events and practice sessions
    4. • Social club events or sessions are offered around pennant competition use of greens
    5. • Some sessions can attract very high numbers and utilise the entire greens available
    6. • Social bowlers can generally utilise the greens informally when available

    Whilst the use of greens for social bowlers is considerable in terms of time utilised and by the number of bowlers, the highest priority for required green capacity is the structured pennant competitions.

    The initial City of Melville Lawn Bowls Strategy dated May 2016 attached to the report submitted to the Ordinary Meeting of the Council held in June 2016 stated “Decreases in formal membership of bowls clubs have been offset by growth in social, corporate and other participation by non-members of bowls clubs. This shows that as a whole, participation numbers have increased, however this is attributed to an increase in social participation with pennant/other competition and playing members in decline. Social bowls is not only the major growth segment (with schools programs) but it has become the major area of participation in recent years. Social bowls is now established as, by far, the largest participation segment in bowls. Pennant and other competition participation declined by 9.2% in total from the 2013 – 2014 years. In WA, there has been a decline in participation numbers across all participation types.”

    It is evident that consideration of activities other than pennant bowls was considered in the development of the Strategy.

    That a quote from Department of Sport and Recreation contained in Bowls Strategy Report is claimed to be highly selective and dishonest. 3.3 “DSR consultant Clayton White has advised that DSR supports the concept of colocation of sporting clubs and looks favourably on such projects for funding support

     

    That the Lawn Bowls Strategy was deceptive in that it said the Department of Sport and Recreation favoured colocation for funding and information left out which means policy would never have applied to Melville.

    The quote referred to is contained in the Lawn Bowls Strategy Supplementary Information September 2016 paper attached to the October 2016 report to the Council.

    The claim this quote was highly selective and dishonest is unfounded.

    The claim mixes a specific quote made by the DSR consultant to the consultant preparing the Bowls Strategy with supposed excerpts from the DSR web-site. 

    Secondly the DSR website which is accessible at www.dsr.wa.gov.au/funding/facilities-(csrff) states as follows:

    "Priority

    Priority will be given to projects that lead to facility sharing and rationalisation. Multi-purpose facilities reduce infrastructure required to meet similar needs and increase sustainability.”

    Furthermore the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries “Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund Guidelines for applicants”

    The document also states

    "Priority consideration

    CSRFF can fund new or upgraded facilities which will maintain or increase physical activity, or result in a more rational use of facilities. Priority will be given to projects that lead to facility sharing and rationalisation. Multi-purpose facilities reduce infrastructure required to meet similar needs and increase sustainability. The program is not designed to provide facilities to meet a club’s ambitions to compete in a higher grade.

    Page 11 of the Guidelines also states

    Joint provision and shared use of facilities is a priority consideration for CSRFF support. It is not a scheme to ensure separate facilities of equal standard for all clubs. It is not designed to provide facilities to meet a club’s ambitions to compete in a higher grade.”

    The quote from the DSR consultant is highly consistent with the DSR website and guidelines for funding.

    The City therefore finds no basis for the claim that authors of the Lawn Bowls Strategy or reports have been highly selective in their quoting.

    There is no reference to the statement claimed to be from the same website quoted as “priority would be given to regional, remote and growth areas before relocation.”

    There is reference in Development Bonuses which states"

    Applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria to be eligible for a development bonus:

    • Location – regional, remote or growth areas
    • Co-location of sports and facilities
    • Sustainability initiatives – water saving, energy reduction etc
    • Increased participation – new users, increased participation from existing users, special interest groups participation etc.

    The City’s reports do not refer to Development Bonuses.

    It is worth noting again that the DSR committed funding of $700,000 to the Tompkins Park Redevelopment Project.

    That the use of a Matrix in the Lawn Bowls Strategy was “blatantly stupidThe matrix was developed by the peak body representing the sport of bowls in WA,  Bowls WA.
    Income from the sporting clubs - Melville Bowling and Recreation Club, Mt Pleasant Bowling Club, the Tompkins Park Association - from the three venues of $700,000 will be lost permanently.
    • This is a highly inaccurate statement.  Income in itself does not equal net funds available for use by the sporting clubs.  The income from the three venues totalled approximately $2.6m in 2017 and $2.55m in 2016 however their combined net surplus (amount left after covering their operating expenses) was $28,756 in 2017 and $14,261 in 2016 being 1.1% and 0.56% of their total operating revenue respectively. 
    • The Melville Bowling Club itself generated total income of $742,865 in 2017 and $738,787 in 2016 and net surpluses of $7,243 and $7,513 being 1% in each year respectively.
    • In addition to this the City of Melville pays for the maintenance, building insurance and capital renewals for each of the facilities.  This totalled $178,164 over the two years and in return the City received Management Licence administration fees of $3,920 over that period

    The strategy adopted by the Council, which will result in the amalgamation of the three sports entities, recognises the financial position of each of these individual clubs is at risk due to their need to meet the high level of expenses versus their income. 

    Combining them into one entity will help reduce their expenses by ensuring their overhead costs are covered by a larger income base i.e. they will benefit from economies of scale.

    That there will be a loss of all three facilities to the community to celebrate birthdays, weddings, bereavements and club windups

    These activities will still be able to occur at the upgraded Tompkins Park facility as they currently do, only in an upgraded facility with contemporary playing surfaces and shade structures and more community spaces.

    That the Lawn Bowls Strategy is a “sham” document designed to deceive so as to pave the way for the signing of a lease agreement with the Wave Park Group.

     The process of developing the strategies expressed in the final Lawn Bowls Strategy commenced in 2006, well before a Wave Park was being considered for Melville. 

    This was followed up by a 2009 Lawn Bowls Report in which it was noted “The City should give future consideration to the potential merging of any of the existing bowls clubs where circumstances are suitable and the clubs are in agreement. A lessening of the number of greens and clubs within the City would most likely result in an increase in the membership and potential long term viability of the clubs concerned. It would also reduce the City’s high level of bowls facilities provision and resultant exposure to risk from the potential burden of asset maintenance and upgrade of multiple facilities.”  Council Policy CP-037 Neighbourhood Development- Community Hub Policy was originally adopted by the Council on 15 December 2009.  This policy also supports the strategy of combining community facilities into multi-functional community hubs.

    The proposition that the City of Melville Lawn Bowls Strategy of 2016 was purposefully designed to facilitate the Wave Park development is therefore simply false and misleading and not supported by any facts.

    After conducting an analysis of the various reports to the Council, the City of Melville Lawn Bowls Strategy reports, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries web-site with respect to CSRFF grants, the financial statements of the relevant sport entities and critiquing the many allegations and statements made about the City’s reports and Lawn Bowls Strategy, the facts show clearly that the arguments are fundamentally flawed, inaccurate and lack substance.

    Social Media Share this pageLinks below open in a new window

    Was this page helpful?
    Page Helpful