I thought it appropriate to keep all Recreation Centre members informed of the latest developments on our lease saga. However, first of all I would like to thank all Centre members, who wrote to the Mayor, CEO and Elected Members of the Mitcham Council, to local papers, politicians, would be politicians and discussed the issue with family and friends. Without your support we possibly would still be waiting for Council to come to the party and support the lease arrangements. Several elected City of Mitcham Council members have stated that they were overwhelmed by the support & passion of the Centre’s members. Thank you.
So, where are we at the moment? The City of Mitcham has agreed to support the Centre and be involved with the lease arrangements. The Government has offered to share the cost of the structural maintenance 50/50 with the Council. The term of the lease and the right of renewal is yet to be formalised, but I have been told the Minister and his Department are willing to have a 15year lease with the right of renewal for another 2 terms. These lease terms replicate the “old” lease between all parties. The Blackwood Community Recreation Association (BCRA) has advised the City of Mitcham that this is also the preferred position of the BCRA. Outstanding is the definition of Structural Maintenance, which has to include the roof as part of the structure of the building.
Upon resolution of these last 2 issues between the Department for Education and the City of Mitcham, it is envisaged that a head-lease would be prepared and ready for signing by both parties. Then the City of Mitcham and the BCRA will look to negotiate and sign a sub-lease, which will have clear definitions of structural and general maintenance. Having achieved this, the lease negotiations will be completed for another 9 or 10 years.
As I said earlier, a big thank you to all our centre members for helping the Board get to the current position. I should also thank the Mayor and Elected Members, who supported our request for a new lease. The Department for Education and the City of Mitcham will now negotiate a Head Lease and subsequently the City of Mitcham will execute a sub-lease with the BCRA Inc. This is a very positive step forward for the process of progressing the Centre’s lease arrangement. The Council Administration is now in on-going negotiations regarding a new lease with the Department for Education.
The negotiation process has a way to go, but there are a number of people I should acknowledge for their support. Our local MP, Mr Sam Duluk has written to the Minister for Education on several occasions, asked questions in Parliament and spoken to the Minister directly on our behalf. Mr Duluk also made a deputation to the Elected Members of the City of Mitcham on our behalf. Mr Alexander Hyde, the Liberal candidate for Waite, has also spoken directly to the Minister on our behalf, particularly about the 50/50 sharing of structural maintenance costs with the City of Mitcham. Another significant step forward. Our current Federal Liberal Boothby member, Ms Nicolle Flint has also written to Council on several occasions as has Dr Rachel Swift the Liberal candidate for Boothby. Ms Catherine Hutchesson, the Labour candidate for Waite together with Ms Emily Bourke of the SA Labor Party and Ms Louise Miller-Frost, who is the Labor candidate for Boothby, have also written to and directly lobbied the Liberal Government on our behalf. I am pleased to say that the support for the centre has been right across the political spectrum. Without everyone’s involvement, I fear we may still be back at the start of the process waiting for some action. Thank you everyone for your on-going support for OUR COMMUNITY centre.
President – BRCA Inc