Bid to rescue Balmain Tigers launched

Friday, 2 November 2018

Inner West Council has endorsed a motion to immediately approach Wests Tigers’ shareholders to discuss the potential for a Tigers Leagues Club to be established in an approved redevelopment of the former Balmain Leagues Club site in Rozelle.
Mayor Darcy Byrne tabled the Mayoral Minute to address the fallout of the Balmain Leagues Club going into voluntary administration late last week.

Council will also be writing urgently to the Australian and NSW Rugby League authorities and West Tigers to offer assistance in establishing a charitable trust to fund the Balmain Tigers Rugby League Football Club to ensure the Club’s junior football programs aren’t affected.

“It is very sad that Balmain Leagues Club has gone into voluntary administration,” said Mayor Byrne.

“Balmain Tigers and the Balmain Leagues Club have been an essential part of the Inner West community and Australian sport throughout our history. We can’t let that proud story end here.

“My top priority now is ensuring the return of a Tigers Leagues Club to Rozelle and making sure the Club’s junior footballers still have a home in the Inner West.

Council will now:

  • Approach shareholders of Wests Tigers, including Wests Ashfield, to discuss the potential for a Tigers Leagues Club to be established in the redeveloped former Leagues Club site, as is required for any development to proceed.
  • Seek clarification from the Club’s Administrator about the state of the Club’s assets, the likelihood of its Board being reformed, and the potential for Wests Tigers’ shareholders to take ownership of a Tigers Leagues Club within any approved development.
  • Reiterate to the NSW Government our total opposition to the compulsory acquisition of the former Leagues Club site for use as a dive site for the Western Harbour Tunnel, noting the enormous environmental, health and amenity impacts the project will have on the local community.
  • Open talks with Wests Tigers, the Australian Rugby League Commission and the New South Wales Rugby League about the establishment of a charitable foundation to help fund Balmain Tigers Rugby League Football Club.

“Council fought a long battle against a previous owner of the site in the NSW Land and Environment Court to ensure the Tigers would have a home in any redevelopment.

“That court ruling means that there is an absolute requirement for a Tigers club to be located in the new development, if it is to be approved. The entire premise of the rezoning of the site is based on the inclusion of the Tigers Leagues Club at the site.

“Previously, as Mayor of Leichhardt Council, I offered Council's assistance in setting up a foundation that would raise money and fund the Balmain Football Club regardless of the financial viability of the Leagues Club. This is an action that Council is now looking at again,” he said.

For further information, please contact John Roper on 0435 963 787.

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Page last updated: 02 Nov 2018