Bondi View

Waverley Council unites to keep Centennial Parklands affordable


By Lydia Watson-Moore


Waverley Council has pledged their support for affordable access to primary schools for use of Centennial Parklands in the midst of fee spikes.

At their meeting on May 19, the council unanimously voted to work with Centennial Parklands and the Public School Sports Association (PSSA) to encourage a fair price for use.

Greens councillor Dominic Wy Kanak brought the motion to the meeting, and said he got involved after concerned residents and schools raised awareness of the issue to him.

“The council will encourage Centennial Parklands to keep public school sports fees affordable,” Clr Wy Kanak told City Hub.

The original motion put forward by Clr Wy Kanak had specific actions proposed, but was changed to gain support from Waverley Mayor Sally Betts, who seconded the motion.

“It was only going to be supported by the mayor if it was more general,” he said.

Mayor Betts told City Hub she was happy to support the motion, but thought civil conversations were the best method of action.

“I’m more than happy to work with them and talk with them,” she said.

Clr Wy Kanak told council that in 2014, Centennial Parklands charged the Sydney Coastal branch of the PSSA (SCPSSA) over $23,000 for one season of ground hire.

This was in comparison to $3,481 for 2013, and just $75 in 2001.

Save PSSA in Centennial Parklands, the main lobby group championing the cause, was represented at the council meeting by Kilty O’Brien.

Ms O’Brien said the aim of their organisation was to get guarantee from Centennial Parklands and the government that the parklands would always be affordable and accessible to school students.

“If fees continue to rise, we won’t be able to manage it,” she told City Hub.

Ms O’Brien said that although Waverley council has no jurisdiction over park fees, their extra level of support would help generate momentum.

“We have asked Waverley councillors to support the health and wellbeing of the public school students in there area, and to take a stand to ensure that public school sport always has a home in Centennial Parklands,” she said.

A Department of Education spokesperson told City Hub “There is no agreement to freeze rental rates for Centennial Parklands grounds and the SCPSSA envisages fee increases will be applied”.

A Centennial Parklands spokesperson told City Hub “This matter has been resolved with the PSSA. The PSSA have paid their next season’s fees and kids sport continues to grow and flourish in Centennial Parklands”.

The Minister for Environment media was contacted by City Hub but didn’t reply in time for comment.



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