Delays stifle BMX fun

Delays stifle BMX fun

1904
Byford BMX club president Kevin Morrow and riders were calling for the construction of a new track. Photograph — Matt Devlin.
Byford BMX club president Kevin Morrow and riders were calling for the construction of a new track. Photograph — Matt Devlin.

Byford BMX club president Kevin Morrow was calling on the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale to push ahead with the construction of a new track five months after it was expected to be completed.

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale allocated $300,000 to the track in September last year as part of the Briggs park redevelopment and at the time it was anticipated the Department of Sport and Recreation would provide a grant, with the club to also raise a third of the cost.

The $800,000 track was expected to be completed by June but the state government grant was rejected and as a result the track was not included in the 2015/16 shire budget.

At the time Mr Morrow said the project could be completed for $400,000 and asked the shire to push forward without the grant but shire corporate and community director Alan Hart said this couldn’t be done because the $300,000 had not been carried forward in the shire budget and ‘no longer existed’.

Shire chief executive Richard Gorbunow said this week the money had since been identified in a budget review following the finalisation of the end of year accounts and was available.

It remained unclear why the money had not been carried forward.

“Each year after the accounts for the shire are finalised, council reviews the current year’s budget and carries forward projects that were not carried forward for one reason or another,” he said.

“In the case of the BMX track, it was identified that these funds were not carried forward and as such were included in the budget review following the finalisation of the end of year accounts.”

He confirmed the shire still believed the track would cost $800,000 while the club stands by its claim it could be completed for half that cost.

Mr Morrow said the money should be reallocated to the track along with the money the club had already raised and called on the council to commit to the construction.

“We’re looking to get a more realistic date and some answers,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a disappointment that it hasn’t been done because it’s holding back everything else that was meant to be done at the park as well.”

He said the new track would meet state and national BMX level race meetings and would bring more people and business into the shire, while benefiting the children who rode there.

“We just want to make it happen because it’s not that much money for what you get,” he said.

“You can build a skate park and spend $1 million but this will be nowhere near that for a world class track.”

Mr Gorbunow said the shire would investigate all options for funding including further grant funding from the state government but was unable to place a time frame on the project.

When asked by a member of the public gallery at the ordinary council meeting on November 23 shire president John Erren said he was not sure if and when the shire would be in a position to apply for a funding grant.

If the shire applied for a state grant in the 2016/17 funding round it could push the project’s completion date out as far as 2018, three years later than planned.