Stadium talks break down

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BASKETBALL courts could be built elsewhere and not at Seaford’s Frankston Basketball Stadium if a council proposal goes ahead.

Frankston mayor Cr Colin Hampton has confirmed council is looking at “delivering improved basketball facilities at alternative locations” after lease negotiations between council and the Frankston & District Basketball Association (FDBA) collapsed late last year.

Federal Liberal Dunkley MP Chris Crewther called a “last shot” meeting this month to try to get council and the FBDA to reopen talks and save $5.2 million in federal funding for the Frankston area that was to go towards a $12.9 million first stage upgrade of Frankston Basketball Stadium to include four extra indoor basketball courts, bringing the total to ten, and improved seating and amenities for players and spectators.

“The discussion indicated to council that the FDBA had not changed its unreasonable position which previously caused council to withdraw from the project,” Cr Hampton said in a statement.

The mayor’s statement about the meeting outcome was at odds with the FDBA’s observations about discussions.

“There was a sense from all parties that the preferred outcome is for this much needed regional project to be delivered by expanding Frankston Basketball stadium,” FDBA general manage Nathan Jolly said.

Council was represented at the meeting by community development director Dr Gillian Kay and community strengthening manager Liz Daley.

South Ward councillors Glenn Aitken and Quinn McCormack were also at the meeting.       

“Regrettably Frankston City mayor Colin Hampton and council CEO Dennis Hovenden did not elect to attend the meeting which we hope is not symbolic of their unwillingness to work towards this much-needed community project being delivered that will benefit literally thousands of players, coaches, referees and volunteers who call Frankston Basketball home,” Mr Jolly said.

Cr Hampton said council will notify the federal government of its plans to divert funding away from the Frankston Basketball Stadium.

“A report will be presented to councillors for consideration and decision on options for the development of additional basketball facilities for Frankston City at the May Ordinary Meeting.”

Mr Crewther says council can “rescope” the project for federal approval.

It is understood council is considering upgrading basketball facilities at the Jubilee Park Netball Stadium.

Basketball Victoria has previously indicated it does not support building extra basketball courts elsewhere and favours the upgrade to the existing Frankston Basketball Stadium.

Council and the FDBA have been at odds over rent reviews, scope of future upgrade works, car parking arrangements at the stadium and council insisting on “line by line” FDBA accounts in addition to audited accounts provided.

First published in the Frankston Times – 26 March 2018

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