Community has say on centre plan

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Boyup Brook chief executive Chris Smith addresses the crowd at the community meeting.
Camera IconBoyup Brook chief executive Chris Smith addresses the crowd at the community meeting. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

The Boyup Brook Shire Council’s new master plan for its sporting facilities was unveiled to the public at a community forum last Wednesday.

Held at the Lesser Town Hall, shire chief executive Chris Smith opened the floor to comment and speakers for and against the plan argued their case.

Some of the concerns raised included the cost, available alternative plans and the time it would take to finish the project.

Residents in favour argued upgraded facilities would make the town a more attractive proposition for new families and workers.

President of the Boyup Brook Sport and Recreation Association Tara Reid spoke in support of the plan, urging those in attendance to look to the future of the town.

“You need to think about the cost if it doesn’t go ahead, and that’s not measurable,” she said. “How do we keep our children here?

“Sport is one of those ways that you can, it can bind a community.”

From the applause each speaker garnered, it was clear most in the room favoured the plan.

St Mary’s Primary School principal Ronan Kelly backed the plan.

“I think in 2020 there is a lot of talk about students spending a lot of time on screens and I think having great sporting facilities at their fingertips encourages children to be more active,” he said.

“I would see it as a huge benefit towards our school’s sporting events and the area, in terms of encouraging new families to come and move to Boyup Brook and join the schools.”

Peter Mansfield spoke against the plan and said all the town needed was covered courts and the existing facilities revamped.

“I’m not actually disputing the fact that the town needs something, I just don’t think our town is big enough to support it,” he said.

“I’ve coached kids for almost 35 years ... anyone who thinks I’m not trying to do something for kids really doesn’t know me.”

Public submissions regarding the master plan are open until March 16 and more information is available at bit.ly/2xmKJDT.

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