Council to decide club’s location fate

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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The Hedland Gymnastics Club will have a second chance to fight for its future as it awaits the Town of Port Hedland council’s decision on whether to allow the club to relocate to Wedgefield.

After a huge expansion in the club’s popularity, with wait lists of 100 children and a club room that is too small for safety standards, the club has applied to the Town to establish club rooms in the Wedgefield industrial area.

The club operates outside of the Andrew McLaughlin Community Centre for 30 hours a week, but its growth in popularity mean another eight hours a week are needed.

The current location is also too small to reach Gymnastics Australia standards.

Initially the proposal, which was seen by councillors at their meeting last month, was neither approved nor refused because an absolute majority result was not reached.

It will be in front of the council tonight for reconsideration.

Club chairwoman Claire Wellbeloved attended the council agenda briefing last week to share the club’s challenges with the council.

“The development of the AMCC is nowhere near ready to begin and our club is failing to produce athletes that can compete and we are losing athletes because we are unable to offer them spaces in the club,” she said.

“We are no longer able to use the outside area at the community centre for training, which has significantly limited our ability to develop athletes.”

Ms Wellbeloved said when seeking alternative accommodation, both financial and availability reasons meant no council-owned property such as the Edge Gym, Wanangkurra Stadium and the JD Hardie Youth Zone, was suitable.

Town statutory planning officer Ben McKay said in the agenda item “ideally the club should be accommodated in Wanangkura Stadium but it has been determined that this is not currently practical”.

“There is no current demand for this land by the industrial sector.

“The proposal will however support additional commerce and will diversify the range of land uses in the area.”

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