In a Council long long ago, far far away, promises were made to never install netball lights and promises were made to downgrade the Canoon Rd Recreation Area netball facility from a regional, to municipal to a local facility. Since then successive promises by Ku-ring-gai Council (KMC) and the Ku-ring-gai Netball Association (KNA) concerning netball capacity limits at Canoon Rd continually get broken. This continued succession of broken promises has eroded trust with elements of KMC and the KNA.
In this context, assertions and promises by the KNA can no longer be accepted on face value (eg: netball training creates 30% of traffic load compared to games). Robust netball capacity planning and hard evidence is needed to restore faith in the process.
Below is a list of past broken promises, they speak for themselves on the issue of trust. You start to see a pattern emerging, promise small, low impact then up-size later.
Broken promise number 1
The promise to downgrade the Canoon Rd netball facility from a regional, to municipal to a local facility. As recently as the 2000 Plan of Management (PoM) this promise still featured (as noted on page 7 issue 4.2 in the 2015 PoM). The 2015 PoM broke that promise, instead the KNA how have grand visions for their Canoon Rd home base to absorb most future growth for all of their Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby players and become a large complex for netball.
Broken promise number 2
Ku-ring-gai Mayor Richard Lennon in 1988 promised a local resident to uphold an earlier promise to not install lights at Canoon Rd.
In Mayor Lennon’s own words “the local residents were assured by the Netball Association and myself that we would never permit lighting of these facilities and as such, I am sure you appreciate I have a moral commitment to those residents who accepted our word in good faith“.
Refreshing words indeed from the then Mayor. In 2015 the KNA broke that promise in the 2015 PoM by demanding lights at Cannon Rd.
Broken promise number 3
The 2015 PoM stated the KNA would only use netball lights at Canoon Rd 2 nights a week (Key Actions on page 40, action 39) on Thursday and/or Friday. This PoM amendment currently on exhibition breaks this promise before the community gets a chance to assess the impact from 2 nights a week. This promise was made just 2 years ago!
Broken promise number 4
Below is a quote from KNA representatives during the May 2015 Facilitated Discussion as part of the preparations for the 2015 PoM committing to moving games from Saturday to week-nights to relieve Saturday traffic congestion.
“On the matter of night lights, the KNA stated that it was imperative to them that they reduce the Saturday congestion for the safety of their members and their families. They stood firm on the fact that they would use the lighting to move junior competition games from Saturday mornings to a Friday night in order to reduce congestion and that they would not re-instate any of these games to Saturdays for the purposes of growth as this would again compromise safety.”
During the Canoon Rd Recreation Area Consultative Committee process in 2017 the KNA insisted on training only on week-nights that does remove one vehicle from Saturday traffic congestion. Residents repeatedly had to remind KNA of their promise and the PoM objective to provide Saturday traffic relief (captured in committee minutes). This PoM amendment now seeks to add training only which does nothing to relieve Saturday congestion and moves one age group providing very little Saturday relief from traffic congestion.
Broken promises numbers 5, 6 & 7
3 quotes below from KNA representatives in the May 2015 Facilitated Discussion as part of the preparations for the 2015 PoM promising a maximum of 2 nights a week under lights. The PoM amendment now seeks to increase that to 4 nights a week and for longer hours (KNA have been asking for lights operating as late as 9:30pm).
“The solution for the lights is not necessarily a solution but it’s empathy for the neighbours. Our idea is that if we can get lights there and work for two hours maybe two nights maximum a week, between 5:30-7:30 we can then take some of the busiest period,”
“We’re talking one or a maximum of two nights a week for a very small component of players; it wouldn’t be anything like a Saturday. It would be a few cars for a few teams.”
“In terms of the Thursday or Friday, one or two nights, whatever it’ll be”
Broken promise number 8
During the Ordinary Meetings of Council on 24th November 2015 a member of the KNA executive said the following during their presentation at the Council meeting.
“We firmly believe that the adoption of the proposed Plan of Management will eliminate much of the congestion on Saturdays, and assist with parking at the Canoon Road Sporting facility, by relocating some of our competitions to one or two nights per week only.”
At the start of deliberations of the Canoon Rd Recreation Area Consultative Committee (1st meeting Nov 2016) the KNA members insisted on netball under lights 4 nights a week for training, not the 1 or 2 nights promised and not games that would have provided relief from Saturday traffic congestion.
WOW, that’s a lot broken promises!
…time for some light relief.