Despite rates in the City of Yarra being among the highest in Victoria we have very little in the way of indoor sports facilities.
Local teams that play sports like basketball, indoor soccer and netball are forced to use school gyms instead of having access to a public indoor sports centre in the area.
The Socialist Party have been campaigning hard for an indoor sports centre for many months. We are now stepping up the campaign.
The majority of other Councillors do not yet agree on the need for a new facility. Most are disconnected from the needs of ordinary people in the area and don’t understand that a new indoor sports centre would help improve public health and be a much needed recreational facility for residents young and old.
We believe that putting the centre near the Victoria Park ground in Abbotsford would be ideal. This site is near public transport and an indoor sports facility would compliment the ground at Victoria Park which has now been opened up to the public.
So far we have managed to get the Council to investigate the possibility of putting a new centre near Victoria Park but they have refused to commit to financing the project in the next budget.
In order to secure a new facility for Yarra we will need a push from residents and local sports clubs to get this over the line. There will be some on the Council that would prefer to spend rate payer’s money on the refurbishment of Council offices, high Director salaries and meaningless surveys.
We need to show the Greens, Labor and Independents that what the community actually wants is better facilities in the area and something to show for the exorbitant rates that they pay!
We ask all Yarra residents to support this important campaign.
The Socialist Party is calling for:
1. A publicly owned and Council-run indoor sports centre to be financed in the next budget. No Public Private Partnerships.
2. Open and transparent discussion with the community, especially neighbouring residents about plans for the development. No secret deals.
3. The new centre to be of an environmentally sustainable design and strong commitment to encouraging the use of public transport.
4. The new centre to be open for use for all local schools and sport groups. Full access for residents – no to a private monopoly of the centre.
By Stephen Jolly