Balmain Leagues Club redevelopment approved, State Government acquisition still hangs over site
Wednesday, 3 July 2019
Inner West Council has just approved a new Development Control Plan for the former Balmain Leagues Club site.
The approval of the revised plan removes the last regulatory hurdle at Council level to a development proceeding on the site, which will include a Tigers Leagues Club.
Despite Council’s approval of the plan, the future of the Club remains in doubt with the State Government still working behind the scenes to compulsorily acquire the site, to use as a large scale tunnelling site for the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel.
Inner West Mayor Byrne has called on Barry O’Farrell, Chair of Wests Tigers, to intervene and to advocate for the State Government not to compulsorily acquire the site.
“This has been a long drawn out saga, but with a revised plan now approved there is no impediment from Council to the Tigers returning to their spiritual home.
“I am respectfully asking Barry O’Farrell to do everything in his power to ensure Balmain Tigers return to their traditional home.
“The very survival of the Tigers depends on preventing the State Government from snatching this site. The compulsory acquisition of the property would leave the Tigers without a cent of compensation.”
After Balmain Leagues Club went voluntary administration in late 2018, Mayor Byrne helped negotiate an agreement that would see the Balmain Tigers continue as a partner in the Wests Tigers franchise and a Tigers Leagues Club included in the development at the Club’s former home in Rozelle.
“I approached Wests Ashfield seeking their cooperation to establish a Wests Tigers base in Rozelle. Wests and their CEO Simon Cook deserve enormous credit for coming to the aid of the Balmain Tigers at a desperate time,” said Mayor Byrne.
“All that hard work is now in jeopardy as the State Government looks to turn the former Club into a dive site that is situated just 20 metres away from Rozelle Public School,” said Mayor Byrne.
“I welcomed Mr O’Farrell’s appointment to the role as Chair of Wests Tigers in March. It is great to have someone of his professional calibre in charge of our beloved Club.
“But Tigers fans need him to wade in and help sort out this dire situation. We need Mr O’Farrell to lobby for the Tigers at the highest level of government to secure the Club’s future.
“Council has done everything in its power to ensure the best outcome for Balmain Tigers and the former Balmain Leagues Club, now it’s over to the State Government to do the right thing and cancel plans to compulsorily acquire the site.”
For further information, please contact John Roper on 0435 963 787.