HORSHAM’S basketball association is standing firmly against the proposal of moving into a new multi-purpose sports stadium in Horsham.
Basketball association officials met Horsham Rural City Council on Monday night, with the association reiterating their concerns that a new stadium would ‘destroy’ its future.
Board member Gareth Hiscock said the association was considering legal action as a “last resort” to halt the council’s plans.
He said he was confused after the council’s technical services director John Martin gave a radio interview on ABC on Tuesday morning suggesting the association would work with the council on an agreement.
“His interview was a different tone to the meeting,” Mr Hiscock said.
“It was along the lines that we are working towards an arrangement on their current plans. We have been open and honest from the start that we don’t want to be in that stadium. When we left the meeting, we thought the other options were back on the table – but his interview confused us. We think the councillors are split on this.”
Mr Martin said the purpose of the meeting was for the council to further understand the association’s concerns surrounding autonomy, financial viability and governance with the planning proposal.
“The association told us they are satisfied with their current facilities and that they did not want to be part of the process,” he said.
“Council believes that we have provided information that addresses the concerns of the basketball association. They don’t agree, so we are aiming to continue those discussions to understand why they don’t believe we’ve addressed those concerns.”
Mr Hiscock also expressed concern surrounding the fact the business plans for the facility had been made public.
“We made it clear before the plan was released that we didn’t want to be part of it, but the plan suggested basketball would be in the stadium,” he said. “They’ve made the plans public too early.”
Mr Martin said the council wanted to work with the association to provide a high-quality facility to serve many indoor sports.
“There is a need for council to do something to help sports, and we believe we have a good plan. The basketball association don’t agree at this stage,” he said.
“We don’t have in Horsham a single venue where we can host these larger scale events. We are keen to do this for all sports.
“It wouldn’t make sense for council to present a proposal to government that wasn’t supported by all the relevant sports. At this stage we don’t have all of that support, so it’s clear we have to do some further work in relation to basketball and other planning aspects, such as traffic around the site.”