A Joint Statement from Boronia Hawks Football Netball Club and Boronia Cricket Club

As part of the Boronia Revitalisation Plan we are delighted to see $120,000 has been allocated and approved towards the planning of a much needed new clubroom at Tormore Reserve.

As all of us in Boronia know, Tormore Reserve is seen as one of the premier grounds for both Football & Cricket in the eastern suburbs. With the further enhancements made by the Knox City Council on landscaping, the clubroom is the last piece of the puzzle, which has been operating at capacity for 10 years now.

Sporting clubs are the heartbeat of the community being a much needed mental health outlet for players and spectators from 6 year olds to 90+. Over the past few years our clubs have seen a sharp increase in growth via our women’s programs which further puts strain on the aging facility. A male orientated change room with one cubicle is no longer fit for purpose to cater for teams of 20 plus women.

We look forward to a favourable result when the council considers this funding at their meeting on Monday.

From Jackson Taylor MP

I’ll get straight to the point (this is a long one, but worth the read). The State Government have offered Knox Council $120,000 to begin early planning work on a new state-of-the-art sporting pavilion and to create a new home that will better allow community use at Tormore Reserve. 

?How’s this all come about? 
Good question. Here are the details: 

The redevelopment of Tormore Reserve has been talked about for some time. In fact, when I was a Councillor from 2016-2018 it was on the agenda then. 

Since then, the Council have prioritised work within the Boronia CBD via their ‘Boronia Renewal’ strategy and I’m proud since that time that the Andrews Labor Government established the Boronia Revitalisation Board of which I’m proud to be the Chair working with fellow board members who are leaders in the community, including Council. 

As you know, I’ve been stoked to help secure nearly $3 million to help back in Boronia and bring change across the CBD – a fantastic start! 

There’s been plenty of announcements and the way this happens is the board provides a

recommendation to the Minister who then makes the determination to sign off on the recommendation or not. 

So, at the last meeting of the board I put forward the proposal for $120,000 to start early planning work at Tormore Reserve – something unanimously supported by board members. 

And the Minister has since signed off on the funding and as such the $120,000 is there to be used to do this work. 

?Why is this project important? 

This project is a priority of Council’s in terms of the work we’re doing as part of revitalising Boronia and its planning is actually scheduled to happen anyway in 23/24 at a cost of $60,000 (we are now well into 21/22). 

The funding was recommended by the board in full acknowledgement and understanding of Council prioritising this work in 23/24. Given the needs of Boronia and the opportunity 

which exists at current, the Board determined there existed a great opportunity to start this work now – with no formal contribution from Council via funding from the revitalisation work. 

Understanding Council’s concerns raised regarding resources and timing, allowances were provided in conversation between the Department and Council as well as the uplift in funding of $120,000 (at the suggestion of Council as opposed to the $60,000 originally planned) to help acquit the potential project by bringing in a project worker. 

So, the $120,000 is essentially the State Government providing funding for that work to be brought forward to allow this to happen in tandem with other priorities. 

And you’ve got two great local clubs based there in the Boronia Hawks Football Netball ClubBoronia Hawks Football Netball Club – Junior (which has one of the largest membership bases going around) and the Boronia Cricket Club, one of only two turf clubs out our way. And it’s no secret, there’s been a lot of great work at Tormore to acquit the masterplan. Council have done a great job but there’s more to do. 

The pavilion is no longer fit for purpose and the proposal is to simply start the early planning work of which funding is being offered to lessen the impact on Council staff – and your rates. And the planning work Knox intends on doing in 2 years, to start the work on replacing a facility that is not geared up for female participation.

?So, what’s the go with Council and where’s this gonna land? 

Good question! I don’t know. At this stage, Knox Councillors have a report to consider at a meeting on this coming Monday, 23 August at 7pm (link in comments to same and how to watch the meeting) which recommends not taking the opportunity for funding.

Put simply in essence Council officers are recommending not to take funding for something they will do in 2 years’ time. 

I take their point regarding resourcing and not putting other projects on hold, as there’s other things that need to get done as well. 

That’s why the conversations which took place resulted in extra funding of $60,000 (which is what Council suggested – they provided the figure of $120,000) and would mean most of this work could be outsourced or employed for this project alone. I take the point that it would still require some liaising with other Council staff, but if funding is available, would it not be worth that? 

There’s commentary in there about the proposal being for ‘a community hub’ and therefore being much more complex. The language used does not reflect what’s been explained and what funding would be provided for. I’ve also provided further correspondence to Council to clear this up too. 

As we know, sporting clubs are in essence community hubs in their own right. But this would first and foremost be a bespoke sporting pavilion, ensuring it’s fit for purpose for men and women, of all ages, but will also be done in a way to ensure it can be better utilised by community as any new sporting pavilion does. 

There is no intention of this becoming a formal ‘Community Hub’ nor to replace the potential of a future hub within the heart of the CBD. 

A future ‘community hub’ should be located in the heart of the CBD.

This is about starting work on what is already a priority of Council within the short-medium term and doing it as part of work we’re doing across Boronia. 

?What’s next? 

Council are meeting on Monday 23 August at 7pm – to determine whether or not they will take $120,000 of funding from the State Government. At current, they’re being recommended to vote against the proposal. 

In the same meeting Council are also considering the biggest change to Boronia in a generation regarding its requested planning outcomes which is an exciting piece of work. 

And given the Board’s recent funding to Council for the ‘Green Spine Corridor’ concept plans, linking Tormore Reserve and Chandler Reserve, I would ask that Council consider the Tormore Reserve work in the same light; as an opportunity for a partnership with the Government on our agreed aim of renewing, revitalising and reactivating Boronia.

That is an acknowledgement of the importance of this precinct. The board exists based on prioritisation from the Council and the State Government agreeing to back this work in – lets continue to get on with it. 

Undertaking this early planning work now will also enable Council to be ready to take advantage of further funding opportunities from the Victorian Government as they become available. Which I stand ready and willing to absolutely go into bat for. 

What I respectfully ask of Councillors is for them to vote in support of starting this work now with the State funding provided. 

The work we are doing in Boronia is crucial and this is part of that work to improve community amenities and facilities. 

I want to conclude by acknowledging in any great partnership a degree of flexibility at junctures like this is important.

I do also think it is important to thank Knox Council for this partnership to date to deliver for our local community. We continue to get things done in Boronia – something I know both parties are very proud of.

I ask for comments on this post and any to Knox Councillors to be respectful. They do plenty of work and I know like myself we’re all here to get the best for our community. I wish them well in their decision making and hope they’ll be able to help this prioritised project get underway.