Horsham Amateur Basketball Association resigns from indoor sport stadium project control group

PROTEST: Horsham Amateur Basketball Association president Owen Hughan is protesting a proposed multi-use sports stadium in the city. Picture: ERIN WITMITZ
PROTEST: Horsham Amateur Basketball Association president Owen Hughan is protesting a proposed multi-use sports stadium in the city. Picture: ERIN WITMITZ

HORSHAM Amateur Basketball Association president Owen Hughan believes the group has no option but to resign from an indoor sport stadium steering group.

Horsham Rural City Council has proposed a multi-use indoor sport stadium to be built in the city’s McBryde Street.

Mr Hughan said the association was represented on the stadium’s project control group but resigned last week, believing the proposal would be detrimental to basketball in the region.

“We are resigning from the project control group out of protest,” he said.

“We feel the stadium is a disaster waiting to happen.”

Mr Hughan said the association didn’t want to move out of its existing stadium.

Council is proposing to build the new stadium where the existing basketball stadium is.

“We would rather stay where we are,” Mr Hughan said.

“Financially, we are able to keep our prices down for our members.

“If we become part of this new stadium, we will have to double our fees. It would finish us if that happens.”

Mr Hughan said the project control group seemed to be in a rush to get the new stadium built.

“No one knows how much this is going to cost and how much they can get in grant money,” he said.

“They don’t know what the participation rate is going to be.

“If they get a loan and it comes up short – who is going to pay for it? There are an immense amount of problems.”

Mr Hughan said the association had put a lot of money into the existing stadium.

“However, because it’s on crown land, council can claim it and use it for this new stadium,” he said.

“But why try to fix something that already works?

“They aren’t listening to us and the only people on the project control group that stand to lose anything is us.”

Mr Hughan said the basketball association could operate at a low cost because it had no overheads, however it was proposed that the new stadium would have employees.

“That’s when voluntary labour will dry up,” he said.

Mr Hughan said the project control group would meet again on Tuesday and start making big decisions about the future of the stadium.

Earlier this month, Horsham Rural City Council endorsed the proposed stadium’s location. The site will include the basketball stadium, the northern portion of the showground and McBryde Street.