Statement: Frankston City sporting history in jeopardy

Wednesday 24 April 2019

From Frankston City Mayor, Michael O'Reilly

Council has worked tirelessly alongside tennis and gymnastics clubs in advocating to Federal and Victorian politicians and candidates from both major sides of politics in order to secure the vital funds needed to deliver a dedicated regional tennis and gymnastics facility at Centenary Park as a priority.

It is extremely frustrating and disappointing that despite these continued joint efforts, the Federal and Victorian Governments appear to be turning their back on the urgent need to find a new home for the Frankston Tennis Club after operating for 150 years, to make way for the much-needed $562 million upgrade to Frankston Hospital.

With a combined tennis and gymnastics membership of over 3,100 including over 1,600 female participants, the Frankston City sporting community deserves a regional facility with the ability to host elite tournaments and to further grow participation in line with the Victorian Government’s Change Our Game initiative to boost female participation in sport.

Council has on many occasions successfully partnered with Federal and Victorian Governments to deliver vital infrastructure projects that benefit our community, including the recently redeveloped Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve ($3.85 million), Peninsula Aquatic and Recreation Centre ($49.7 million), Frankston Park Function Centre ($4 million) and more. For this reason we are confident that a regional tennis and gymnastics facility can be achieved through a joint funding partnership.

I call on Chris Crewther and Peta Murphy to support their community by urgently committing the $8.05 million contribution required by them ahead of the federal election held in 24 days. Additionally, I urge the Victorian Government to fund an equal contribution of $8.05 million, a mere 1.5 per cent of the $562 million hospital expansion project.

This investment will not only retain a piece of Frankston City’s sporting history for generations to come, but will deliver greater outcomes for the Frankston City and broader south east Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula regions through increased opportunities to participate in tennis and gymnastics from junior to elite.

Although Council will investigate alternative options should Federal and Victorian Governments fail to deliver the $8.05 million required for the proposed Centenary Park facility, we believe the Frankston City community and broader region deserve better than a back-up plan. That is why we’ve committed $11 million of our own funding towards delivering this vital regional infrastructure project.

Council acknowledges Frankston City is a sports loving city, which is why we’re committed to preserving a piece of Frankston’s sporting history while delivering the best possible outcome for our community to enjoy for years to come.

Should funding requirements be met, works will commence immediately in a sequenced rollout to house Frankston Tennis Club merged with Frankston East Tennis Club at Centenary Park as a priority before the joint tennis and gymnastics facility is constructed housing Bayside Gymnastics Club. 

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