Aquatic Centre not the answer for Belmore
3 December 2007
Recent speculation in a Rugby League magazine that Belmore Sports Ground is set to be bulldozed in January 2008 should concern local residents in the Canterbury-Bankstown region.
The rumour originated in the Summer edition of Rugby League Review, where it was claimed that Canterbury Council would force the Bulldogs to vacate Belmore Sports Ground so an Aquatic Centre could be built on the site.
Back to Belmore President Luke Brailey believes that an Aquatic Centre at Belmore Sports Ground is not in the best interests of the local community as there are already similar facilities at Canterbury, Roselands, Greenacre and Ashfield.
"Belmore Sports Ground is central to Belmore's identity," Mr Brailey said.
"It is in the best interests of the local community for Belmore to remain as a focal point for local sport. We have an obligation to protect the venue's heritage and make sure the local area's youth has adequate recreation facilities."
While Canterbury City Council's City Plan includes plans to implement a new Aquatic Centre in the Canterbury region by 2013, the Back to Belmore committee feels that any talk of such a facility at Belmore is premature.
"Back to Belmore understands why Canterbury Council is looking at alternative options for the site, as the Bulldogs have clearly failed to tackle entrenched problems, such as dilapidation and deterioration, that have crippled Belmore Sports Ground. Being a major stakeholder of the ground, their lack of leadership is disappointing," Mr Brailey said.
"However, any discussion of an Aquatic Centre should immediately be put on hold and discussions need to commence with Canterbury Council and the State and Federal Governments so that Belmore can become a mult-purpose sporting facility."
Back to Belmore Inc. reiterates that any decision by the Bulldogs to relocate from Belmore is not Back to Belmore policy, the committee is strongly encouraging the Bulldogs Rugby League Club to extend their lease on the historic venue rather than relinquish it and is in the process of contacting candidates for the 2008 Bulldogs’ Board of Directors to confirm their policy on Belmore Sports Ground.
New candidates for the Bulldogs’ Board of Directors include Club stalwarts Andrew Farrar, Paul Dunn, Barry Ward and Graeme Hughes.