Cricket bid survives challenge

by Michaela Meade

An attempt to rescind a Hume council decision to seek funding for an elite indoor cricket training centre in Greenvale has failed to gain the support of the majority of councillors.

Councillor Trevor Dance moved a motion to rescind the decision at a council meeting earlier this month, saying he felt that the council “rushed” into its decision.

As reported by Star Weekly, councillors voted in December 10 approve the submission of an application to the state government’s 2019-20 Community Cricket Program, seeking $1.5 million for the Hume Indoor Cricket Training Centre at Greenvale Recreation Reserve.

If the application is successful, the council will contribute $4.573 million to the project.

Cr Dance said council officers had recommended that councillors did not submit a funding application.

“[We were] put in a position to commit $4.573 million outside the established budget plan,” he said.

“We were made well aware that a $6 million project was a huge project, and a project of this size calls for years of planning… Now we’re going to have to find an extra $4.5 million.”

Cr Dance said there was “substantial feedback” that councillors felt rushed and concerned about other projects being pushed back or “sacrificed”.

Cr Jodi Jackson, who seconded the motion, said the circumstances surrounding the decision to approve the facility meant councillors were rushed into possibly making a “poor judgement”.

“I think it’s important to note that we’re all human, and as such we’re fallible… with the pressure that was being applied to us indirectly through the funding body, with the extremely short time frame, and the members of the local community [we felt rushed].”

Cr Dance said council should not “throw away” other projects when “nice ideas” are brought up.

Councillors Dance, Jackson and Overend voted to rescind the motion, but the vote was lost as all other councillors voted against it.

Michaela Meade