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NEWS DESK

Basketball association threatened with axe Neil Walker neil@baysidenews.com.au A MEDIATOR has been brought in by the state government to try to salvage a multi-million dollar expansion and upgrade of the Frankston Basketball Stadium amid a council threat to “remove” the organisation that runs basketball competitions at the stadium. Sport and Recreation Victoria, a Department of Human Services department body, will talk to Frankston Council and the Frankston & District Basketball Association to try to break a deadlock over a new lease agreement.

The association has refused to sign a lease increasing annual rent payable from about $30,000 to about $160,000 each year, including a 6 per cent take on the group’s revenue above $1 million. Cr Colin Hampton told association representatives at a meeting last month between council and the Frankston & District Basketball Association that council could go ahead with a first stage $12.7 million project to expand the stadium in Seaford without the association and manage the stadium itself. “There are several options available,” Cr Hampton said when con-

tacted by The Times last week. Councillors will be briefed again in private on Monday evening (3 April) about the latest state of play in lease negotiations. Council committed $4 million of ratepayers’ money to the expansion to include four new basketball courts alongside $2.5 million of state government money and $4.5 million of federal government money from taxpayers. The association is pitching in $1 million of funding and feels council is “double dipping” its members, many of whom are ratepayers, by now slugging the FDBA with a sharp increase

in rent for the stadium on councilowned land at 90 Bardia Avenue. Council has ordered builder Devco Project & Construction Management to stop work on a first stage $12.7 million expansion of the stadium in Seaford amid the stand-off over the lease. Previous meetings between council CEO Dennis Hovenden, the mayor Cr Brian Cunial, councillors and the association have ended without agreement and acrimony between council and the FDBA. FDBA general manager Nathan Jolly says council is engaged in a “cash grab” with its proposed lease. Cr Cunial said council “cannot be held to

Park life strife at play SAFETY concerns have delayed the opening of part of a redevelopment of the Ballam Park playground. Frankston Council says a contractor has been ordered to make several modifications to “the senior playground area” at Ballam Park since materials used “will not last the test of time” and are not fit for purpose. The modifications will not be at ratepayers’ expense. “Council is committed to ensuring the safety of all playground users and will work with the contractor to complete all required modifications identified,” the mayor Cr Brian Cunial said. “This is an unfortunate situation and we apologise for the inconvenience this has caused, as we know many

families and visitors regularly fill Ballam Park to enjoy time together.” Part of the playground is closed off while works continue. The $1 million Ballam Park upgrade is part of a municipality wide plan to install “high-quality” playgrounds for youngsters. A $300,000 revamp of Keast Park in Seaford was completed in October last year. About $900,000 is being spent on improvements to the Frankston Waterfront playground and $600,000 worth of works are being done at the George Pentland Botanic Gardens playground. Part of the Ballam Park playground will remain open while the contractor carries out the safety modifications.

ransom” over lease negotiations. Mr Hovenden has ordered builder Devco Project & Construction Management to stop work on a first stage $12.7 million expansion of the stadium in Seaford amid the stand-off over the lease. The basketball association is rallying its members to march on Frankston Council offices on Monday 10 April to “Save Our Stadium” if common ground cannot be found. Frankston and Carrum Labor MPs Paul Edbrooke and Sonya Kilkenny have called on council to resolve the dispute and urgently go ahead with the stadium expansion.

Police chase ‘Bogan’

Ring fenced: Part of playground at Ballam Park sealed off from public. Pic: Gary Sissons

lucky's

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POLICE in Wedge Rd, Carrum Downs, chased a stolen white Holden sedan with the false number plates ‘Bogan’. The car was identified as being involved in several previous evadepolice incidents, Wednesday 22 March. The car was spotted stationary in the middle of Wedge Rd, 4pm, but, when police approached on foot, it was driven straight at them before reversing and heading north along Wedge Rd. Speeds of 100kph were reached with the Holden driver repeatedly slamming on the brakes and attempting to have the police run into his rear end. Police abandoned the chase when the car turned into McCormicks Rd and it was considered too dangerous.

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4 6 - 4 8 Yo u n g S t , F r a n k s t o n p h : 9 7 8 1 4 6 0 5 Frankston Times 3 April 2017

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3 April 2017  

Frankston Times 3 April 2017

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