For Emerald Show Society president Jess Crawford the Central Highlands Regional Council’s updated tenure policy for council-owned land and facilities is a big step in the right direction, with clubs now able to tailor Game Plan tenure agreements to their needs.
Watch sport and recreation officer Brock Donlan’s conversation with Emerald Show Society president Jess Crawford and read more below.
Ms Crawford engaged the entire show committee in discussions with the council to get a multi-user agreement in place for the Emerald Showgrounds.
‘It is pretty complex, but coming with an open mind and taking a step back to see it is a community facility and we want everybody to be able to use and access it helped,’ Ms Crawford said.
She said having had the entire committee be a part of the consultation process made collating information easier and set clear expectations from the start.
‘Having clear expectations is important when working with volunteers and I am hopeful that the policies put in place through individual consultation with users of that facility will mean they get what they want.
‘It allowed us to get a solid agreement in place at the first go. No doubt we might have to tweak it, but I know that council has the best intentions for the Game Plan and what it is trying to achieve with it.
‘I think it is definitely on the right track now and strong communication is the key.
‘We are all human, and we all love our communities, and we are all here for the same reasons, so if we can work together, then that is big,’ she said.
Councillor and Sport and Active Recreation Advisory Group Chair Anne Carpenter said the changes to the policy were based on feedback received from 22 clubs.
‘We talked to organisations about their understanding of the policy and agreements and found that they were all very confused and hesitant to sign, but after working through the new draft documents all the clubs felt much more at ease and are now waiting to sign,’ Cr Carpenter said.
‘We found that the policy did not allow for individually-tailored agreements, leaving some organisations at a disadvantage.
‘We now have consistency around responsibilities for things like maintenance, whilst allowing for the uniqueness of each club to shine through.
‘We must appreciate this diversity of our community organisations, and I believe the updated policy gives our clubs certainty of use whilst ensuring responsibilities are clear for both parties.
‘Our group looks forward to seeing the outcomes of this policy in practice, with council and community organisations working together to maintain and improve facilities and deliver sport and recreation activities to people.’
The council adopted the Community organisation tenure of council-owned or controlled land policy at the General Council Meeting on 9 September 2020.
The policy seeks to:
- provide a consistent and equitable approach to the granting and renewal of tenure to community organisations over council-owned and controlled land
- ensure that community organisations holding tenure operate viably and can meet tenure obligations
- provide certainty of tenure
- activate council-owned and controlled land for the sporting, recreational, cultural and other not-for-profit community services and activities.