04 July 2012

Unley Oval

Sturt seems to have received a lot of press coverage of late, much of what I have read is simply mot true. I believe the Council will ask for a retraction the Easter Courier over this weeks article titled  'Bold vision for Unley'.
It is not true that we are considering spending any additional funds in this budget nor in the Long Term Financial Plan on Unley Oval other than to develop a Masterplan through the Community Assets Review. This Masterplan includes all other sporting complexes including both Goodwood Oval and the Millswood Complex. It may also take 20 years to implement and any identified projects will need to be primarily funded through grants.
The money that Prospect Council used to redevelop Prospect Oval was Federal money, Unley received over $5 mil from the same source; we have spent ours on the Culvert St drain and linear path and on aquifer recharge investigation and solution. As  a Councillor I felt the money was well spent for all of our ratepayers on these projects.
No plans have been put to Council about a picket fence or any other permanent fencing of Unley Oval for Council to debate at this time.
The temporary fencing is erected , dismantled and paid for by Council not Sturt, so any discussion about the cost of this being charged to Sturt is untrue.

I will continue to keep an open mind when I am asked to debate and make decisions but only when I have the facts put in front of me. I have seen their financial statements but can not make any comment on them.
I think one of the most rewarding sights in Unley is all the small boys playing many simultaneous games of Kanga cricket each Saturday morning on Unley Oval in summer. It is  beautiful.


  1. I found the Messenger article to be interesting and informative, and as far as i am aware, contained no untrue statements. However, thanks Jennie for putting it in some sort of perspective, a perspective that was clearly lacking from the article. I live not too far from the oval and use it recreationally as well as to watch league football from. Realistically this is all a long way off, but progress can and should be made if all involved are serious in their intent so a 20 year timeline is avoided I would have thought.

    1. Council is to debate this week a way forward for 39 oxford Tce (Jack's Bar). The report suggests options that include renewing the lease for a portion of this building. I also hope that redevelopment will not take 20 years and that if and when development is project ready that there will be a body, either government or private, that will be happy to provide the majority of the funds. As an example the new lighting at Goodwood Oval was provided in this way.

  2. It is now my understanding that the report about the picket fence proposed for Unley Oval by the Sturt Football Club will come to Council for debate on the 23rd July. If the Mayor thinks the extra persons there to listen to the debate have anything to do with holding the meeting at Goodwood I think he will have made a mistake. In fact the people who will wish to attend this meeting, and I expect there will be many, will be frustrated and annoyed by the change of venue.

  3. A few relevant letters to the editor from this week's Eastern Courier regarding the Unley Oval revamp;

    Eastern Courier Messenger, Adelaide by Peter Tsokas 11 Jul 2012

    FOLLOWING last week’s article ("Bold vision for Unley", Eastern Coarier Messenger, July 4) it is important that some context be provided.

    Unley Council has been undertaking a review of its community properties over the last 2-3 years and as part of this process has consulted with key users and stakeholders.

    It is now intended that consultation occur with the broader community in the next few months on the findings of the review and suggested actions.

    The feedback to date clearly recognises that there is a need to develop masterplans for a number of key sporting facilities in the city such as Unley Oval and Goodwood Oval if they are to meet the needs of the community and be sustainable fri the long term.

    With respect to Unley Oval, this facility is also within the "Unley Central" precinct which council hopes to rejuvenate over the next 10 years so that the precinct becomes the "heart" of Unley.

    As part of this project it is intended that, in the first instance, council develop a masterplan of Unley Oval.

    This will involve input from all key users of the oval.

    The intention of developing a plan is so that the council and community groups can approach other spheres of government for a partnership arrangement towards implementation of the plan as per the Prospect Oval redevelopment.

    Given that a brief has not been developed, it is premature to speculate about grandstands and fencing arrangements let alone the cost of any redevelopment.

    What we do want however is improved facilities for the community (of whom Sturt is one stakeholder) so that the oval can be better utiised.

    This also clearly includes maintaining the openness of the facility to the community.

    Therefore, a permanent external fence or wall around the ground will not be considered in any future redevelopment plan.

    PETER TSOKAS Chief executive, Unley Council

    Jewel in crown
    Eastern Courier Messenger, Adelaide by Mike Hudson 11 Jul 2012

    UNLEY Oval is the jewel in the (albeit small) crown of the city’s open space. As such, it must be protected from any action that diminishes its value for the general public.

    Action such as two tiers of fencing as proposed by Sturt Football Club under the double and spurious guise of safety and finance. Proponents of the idea of a permanent perimeter fence and a permanent picket fence around the playing area have no evidence to support the first "reason", and have made an embarrassing blunder on the second.

    Unley Council has no record of any claims under Occupational Health and Safety regulations within the past five years.

    And the Blues administration is left red-faced over its incorrect claim that the club has to foot the bill for the erection and dismantling of fences for its home games.

    That $4000-plus a time bill is borne by the ratepayers.

    As one of the group of councillors who, in the 80s, succeeded in wresting the oval from the vice-like grip of the Double Blues, I will continue to battle for the ratepayers who do not want to see any diminuition of THEIR open space.

    It is a pity that the fencing issue has overshadowed the REAL problem at Sturt, the poor state of the grandstand facilities which the club’s administration rightly says is causing would-be players to stay away in droves. But that should not be a burden solely on ratepayers.

    The state’s football hierarchy must be called on to do even more for a club with a proud history.

    MIKE HUDSON Parkside Ward councillor Unley Council

  4. It's typical that the vocal minority are up in arms about any progress and improvement to Unley Oval. The fact is there is more people using Unley Oval through organised sport and spectators of organised sport than any other interest group. And by a very very large margin !!!