Media response tennis courts

Questions and Responses

Why was the decision made to award this project for the City of Monash in confidential business in December and rather not an open council meeting? 

Council was invited to respond to an Expression of Interest run by North East Link Project late last year to replace tennis courts being lost in Boroondara. NELP required that any announcement on the outcome was to be made by the Minister. As Council needed to formally consider its response to the outcome this could only be done in confidential business ahead of the Minister’s announcement. NELP did agree to Council notifying residents abutting the golf driving range site that an announcement would be occurring and set up meetings to provide information as soon as possible without breaching the confidentiality agreement.

What is the total cost of the project - council and state govt? 

  • $21M State Government
  • $5.7M Council

As residents noted last night, why was there no community consultation? 

As above, a confidentiality agreement required we could not begin consultation with residents until after the announcement by the Minister. We did so as soon as possible and have met with residents a number of times. It is our intention to work with local residents to get the best outcome on the site.

As evident from residents' angst about the project including the courts being within a 15m boundary, traffic concerns and as they said "destroying open space", why was this location specifically chosen? 

There is no decision regarding the location on the courts on the site, and any boundary could extend to 35 metres from adjoining properties depending on the possible configuration of the courts. This is one of the areas we have asked residents to provide their feedback and where they would like to see the courts situated on the site. The site is zoned Public Park and Recreation.

Will the council reconsider relocating the site to another area within the golf range as noted on Wednesday night? 

We have committed to residents that we will investigate this option and will do so, and provide further information to residents once our investigation is complete. At this stage it is just an investigation, we do not know until we finish looking into this option whether it can be pursued. We also need to work with NELP and the golf course management and users if this change is to be taken up.

How many more houses will be letterbox dropped? How many have been in total? 

We have met with residents a number of times. In December 2020 we held two community forums, the first for residents abutting the golf course and a second session for the wider community. We letterboxed the 27 houses abutting the golf course to the first forum, the second was promoted via social media and through contact with local tennis clubs.

Our meeting on 20 January onsite was for the residents abutting the golf course and involved 27 properties. We had 25 residents in attendance. Our next meeting onsite will include the broader community. This meeting will be held once we have investigated some of the options raised by residents. We expect this will occur later this month. We anticipate this would involve letterboxing some 400 households. As demonstrated last night we will meet with anyone who has an interest in the project and offered to meet in local street or attend the homes of those unable to attend the meetings. We will also provide broader community online information sessions in the future.

What does the council say overall about the community concerns? 

We appreciate that this is a significant change for people who live alongside the Council’s land and that’s why we have met with them on site and online a number of times to hear their concerns and to look for ways of mitigating these concerns. We have been provided with some good feedback by the residents and we want to continue working with them to address as much as possible their concerns. This area of land is zoned Public Park and Recreation and Council has made a decision that the tennis facility will be constructed in this area, but we are investigating a different option for the location of the courts on the site at the request of residents and will report back on that investigation directly to residents.

Why will the project be of benefit to the community? 

Benefits to the community include improved golf and tennis participation opportunities, undergrounding of low voltage overhead powerlines, significant traffic management improvements including an intersection upgrade at the corner of Jells and Waverley Roads.  Traffic in this precinct has been raised as a concern and this improvement will greatly improve traffic flow in the area and reduce congestion. There will be improved accessibility and trail connections with links to the Dandenong Creek Trail, improved drainage to residential properties where flooding has occurred, development of a community hub for golf and tennis users, job creation and significant economic opportunities for local businesses.

When is the project expected to commence and be completed by? 

Detailed design is due to commence from July 2021 with construction to start in mid-2022 and the project to be completed in early 2024.

Also, just with regards to the tennis strategy, where does it outline that there is a need for tennis within the Monash community? As tennis club members said last night they didn't want more tennis courts in the community as there are already so many "empty courts".  

In 2019, Council held a forum with committee members from all tennis clubs, where one of the key themes emanating from the forum was work towards having fewer, bigger more viable clubs at venues with more courts. This, as well as other key findings of this forum led to the development of the Tennis In Monash Discussion Paper. The discussion paper was publicly available and encouraged submissions from tennis club members, as well as the general community. Key findings from the discussion paper were: 91% of respondents were supportive of Council investing into tennis facilities and 70% of respondents were supportive of working towards having fewer, bigger tennis clubs.

  • According to Ausplay Report 2020, tennis has the highest participation rate of organised sports amongst Monash residents. In order, it sits above Australian football, soccer, basketball, golf, and netball.
  • Tennis participation rates and interest (15%) is higher amongst Monash residents than State averages (12%)
  • Tennis membership in the region is very strong. 22% of people who have played tennis in the last 12 months in Monash are a member of a tennis club. This is higher than State average of 16%
  • Glen Waverley is a vibrant tennis community, with 6 tennis clubs (42 courts in total) operating at Council-owned tennis facilities in Glen Waverley, as well as other tennis facilities on non-Council land.
  • Latent demand for tennis in Monash, with 14.4% of residents saying they are interested in playing tennis that currently don’t. This equates to almost 30,000 people in Monash.
  • Over the past 10 years, junior participation at Monash tennis clubs that operate on Council land has increased by 4.9%, however this has been offset by a reduction in senior female members. 

Issued: 21 January 2021
To: Monash Leader
Quoting: Mayor, Councillor Brian Little