Winter sports for Elsternwick Park South Oval

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The “reactivation” of an Elsternwick Park South oval for winter sports has been described as a “lose, lose situation” for the community.

The council had wanted to to upgrade ovals 3 and 4 but scrapped those plans following significant community backlash.

The council will now push ahead upgrading Oval 4.

It will also build a “female friendly” pavilion and install lighting.

The unpopular compromise was reached following a jam-packed seven-hour meeting at the Brighton Town Hall last Wednesday.

Almost 100 stakeholders, some as young as 11, added their voices to the debate on one of most polarising issues in recent Bayside history.

Among the speakers were Neighbours star Alan Fletcher, The Seekers founding member Bruce Woodley and former St Kilda champion Nathan Burke.

Fletcher warned councillors would “lose the trust of voters” if they went ahead with the plan.

“This is a political nightmare that we, the ratepayers, are being punished for,” he said.

Charlotte Tembel, 15, pleaded for councillors to adopt the plan saying she’d “rather step in dog poo than drive 45 minutes”.

Chief executive Mick Cummins and other officers sat stony faced as several speakers hurled accusations the council solicited support for their plan via email.

Many speakers also demanded the council release the “needs assessment” used to determine the officer’s assertion additional sportsgrounds were required in Bayside.

Bayside environment, recreation and infrastructure director Steven White fended off the demands as the council was “unable to make the needs assessment public”.

Bayside Dog Alliance spokeswoman Dr Kate Dempsey also teed off claiming the officer’s report contained “cherry picked lies”.


Friends of Elsternwick Park spokesman Tim Wood said he was “appalled” by the decision.

“It’s a lose for the community and a lose for organised sport,” he said.

Sporting alliance spokeswoman Felicity Frederico called it a “lose, lose situation”.

“We welcome one oval but there’s more work to be done,” she said.

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