Myth Busters

Find out the facts and bust the myths that are often reported, discussed and circulated in the community and media.

Collateralised Debt Obligation (CDO) Investments

In 2007, the City, on the advice of Grange Securities (later Lehman Brothers) invested $21.2m in CDO products.

The Council policy of the day had the Policy Objective to “provide guidelines with respect to the investment of surplus funds which ensure that the returns on funds invested are maximised within levels of risk that are commensurate with the need for security of public monies”.

The original funds invested in the CDO’s were Reserve funds and therefore there was no direct impact on rates. Any recovery of investment losses restored the balances of those Reserves and the City has never sought to cover the losses by increasing rates.

As at December 2018, the sum total received back so far is $22.83m

Further distributions and dividends from liquidators have yet to be finalised.  These actions deal with the various CDOs as a pool of funds and as such the final returns on individual investments that are the subject of these actions will not be disclosed by the liquidators.

Detailed information is available here.

Lawn Bowls Strategy and Clubs

In 2006, the City commissioned work concerning sporting strategies, the result of which highlighted declining numbers of pennant bowls players at both Mt Pleasant and Melville Bowling Clubs. 

In 2009, this work then informed the Lawn Bowls Report 2009, which recommended the City give future consideration to the potential merging of existing bowling clubs to assist with sustainability for the Clubs. The Lawn Bowls Report 2009, again noted the pressures on Clubs and decline in pennant numbers.

In 2011, a further Report investigating the provision of various sporting and playing fields in the City was undertaken.  A key recommendation from this Report was to prepare a Master Plan for Tompkins Park to include Melville Bowling Club. This work commenced in 2012-2013.

In April 2015, a Councillor Motion was put to Council to investigate the possible relocation of Mt Pleasant Bowling Club to Shirley Strickland Reserve. To investigate this it was imperative to review and consider the changes and trends in the sport of lawn bowls since the earlier Lawn Bowls Report 2009, which would result in the City of Melville Lawn Bowls Strategy, Final Report May 2016.

Pennant Players and Social Bowls/Memberships

The scope for the Lawn Bowls Strategy, Final Report May 2016, also required the Consultant to examine both the decline in the number of pennant players, and increase in social bowls and social membership, albeit the key role of Bowls Clubs is about the sport of Bowls.

As such, the City of Melville Lawn Bowls Strategy, Final Report May 2016 commented upon the role such Clubs have in supporting the local community, the situation of increasing social bowls and its importance to Clubs, and the future role of continued community access. Despite this, there has been public criticism the Report did not consider social membership which is incorrect.

To-date, pennant bowls participation has continued to decline, nationally, within Western Australia and within the City of Melville.  There has been no growth, only decline across City of Melville.  While the Leeming Bowling Club has shown growth with the installation of a further bowling green, this appears is contrary to the decline of other Clubs, and at a City and State wide level does not appear to be new growth. 

Council Decisions

The following decisions have occurred through formal Council process and are binding, which in turn informs the work City staff must undertake.

  • June 2016 - Lawn Bowls Report

"Endorses the model of future Bowls facilities forming part of a sporting hub that provides contemporary bowls facilities and shared amenities with other tenants to accommodate large number of bowlers in fewer facilities throughout the City.”

  • June 2016 - Council endorsement to investigate alternative uses for the land at both Bowls sites at Mt Pleasant and Melville Bowling Clubs. Lawn Bowls Report to Council Meeting in October 2016

“Endorses Tompkins Park as the central northern site for any future development of lawn bowls in the north of the City of Melville.

Directs the Chief Executive Officer to:

b) facilitate the Melville Bowling Club and the Mount Pleasant Bowling Club to amalgamate and relocate to a new bowls facility at the expanded Tompkins Park Hub; and

c) progress and expedite the Tompkins Park Concept Plan for the Councils endorsement.”

5. By absolute majority decision agrees that upon the relocation and amalgamation of the Melville and Mount Pleasant Bowling Clubs at Tompkins Park, any self supporting loan liabilities owed to the City by those clubs be extinguished and the associated costs be charged to the Tompkins Park Redevelopment Project.

  • October 2016 - Council endorsement of the Department Sport and Recreations funding application for funds to assist with the Mt Pleasant and Melville Bowling Clubs relocation.  Funding awarded January 2017 of $700,000 towards new facility
  • November 2016 - Future Use Options of Melville Bowling Club site

Council endorsed to advertise for submissions for the Wave Park Group proposal:

Approves the Proposal for advertising of the Business Case and groundlease proposal as per the requirements of Section 3.59 of the Local Government Act 1995; and

Directs the Chief Executive Officer to report to the Council at the conclusion of the advertising.

  • February 2017 - Council endorsed proceeding to lease negotiations with the Wave Park Group

By absolute majority decision authorises the Chief Executive Officer to proceed with the drafting and negotiation of a ground lease agreement with Wave Park Group Pty Ltd;

  • November 2016 - Future Use Options of Mt Pleasant Bowling Club site

“That the Council:

Authorises the Chief Executive Officer to progress the negotiations with the Department of Lands to acquire the site being Lot 2018 (Reserve 27046) at 40 Bedford Road, Ardross or joint venture the development of the site and conduct all necessary due diligence, including necessary community consultation, and planning to ensure completion of the Business Case for approval by the Council prior to submission to the Department of Lands for the purpose of obtaining State Government Cabinet consent;”

“Endorses the next step of the project to commence engagement with the community with a view to arriving at a suitable concept design for the site which will in turn inform the due diligence/Business Case phase.”

Current Status

Regardless of what the current Bowling Club sites will be used for in the future, and whether or not a current Wave Park proposal proceeds, planning for a  new modern and state-of-the-art bowling facility as part of the Tompkins Park redevelopment project is progressing with a view to have construction commencing in mid-2019.

In September 2018, the Melville Bowling Club advised their position had changed regarding relocation to the new Tompkins Park bowling facility with a new Committee elected on a platform to see the Club remain in its current location. The Club therefore advised the City formally they will not be relocating to the new Tompkins Park facility once constructed

This now provides the opportunity for Mt Pleasant Bowling Club to remain as the existing Club and relocate to the new facilities at Tompkins Park. The City now continues to progress the redevelopment with the exclusion of the Melville Bowling Club.  

The Melville Bowling Club will be notified of lease termination and therefore vacation of the current premises when the appropriate time has come, and their members will be encouraged to join Mt Pleasant Bowling Club.

The Mt Pleasant Bowling Club will be notified of their lease termination to coincide with relocation to the new facility at Tompkins Park thus ensuring minimal disruption and down time to club activities.

Given the exclusion of Melville Bowls Club from this project and a review of the initial assumptions regarding bowls participation it has been prudent for the City to review the scope and timeline of the project.  This will see a reduced number of bowling greens due largely to the continued decline in the sport of bowls and the relocation of only one Club to this site.

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