This PoM amendment is not a plan, it’s a lazy stop- gap with bad outcomes for netball and residents alike. It is clear the Canoon Rd facility located in a peninsula suburb cannot absorb all future netball growth leaving the Ku-ring-gai Netball Association (KNA) forever constrained.
South Turramurra is blessed with a multitude of a sporting facilities (netball, football, cricket, baseball, tennis) in the area and netball is in desperate need of additional capacity to support a growing vibrant sport.
KMC’s and KNA’s primary plan for growth is to keep increasing capacity at the Canoon Rd facility, a grossly inadequate location and an extremely poor solution for netball growth. The pressure from a fast growing population means the KMC and KNA need to modernise, adapt and identify additional facilities to distribute netball growth across the Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby LGAs.
Canoon Rd Recreation Area is an inappropriate location to absorb unbounded netball growth for such a sport than generates such high levels of traffic. Canoon Rd Recreation area is located in a peninsula suburb lacking the road infrastructure, with intense traffic on suburban streets raising many traffic and safety issues.
Benefits of distributing access to netball for a fast growing population:
- Distributing netball facilities will reduce travel times, reduce traffic volumes and take pressure off traffic congestion for players, parents and personnel.
- Will unlock more opportunities for growing netball capacity by utilising smaller locations in the context of fast- diminishing open spaces.
- Will reduce the amenity impact on neighbourhoods due to lower intensity operations.
Distributing netball can take many forms from having 2 or 3 primary facilities to smaller secondary facilities. KNA do use some smaller facilities and there is opportunity to keep evolving the distributed model.
Grow netball, distribute access to netball
The KPPA’s message is not anti-netball, the community loves and embraces the rich sporting facilities in the area. The KPPA’s message is very simple: the South Turramurra area has capacity limits, time to distribute netball growth.
The South Turramurra area has capacity limits, time to distribute netball growth
The Ku-ring-gai Netball Association (KNA) use a high density model for netball operations(eg: 21 courts at Canoon Road) as do all/most netball associations. Focusing netball in just one high capacity facility (ie: “flocking”) allows the KNA to optimise their revenue raising and operations for coaches, referees and other support personnel.
The optimised “flocking” model makes sense and is obviously a highly desirable aspiration for netball associations, however, it doesn’t come without cost and impediment to the communities that host these high intensity facilities. A balance of competing interests must be reached with compromise and mutual respect. Compromise in these changing times (at times constraining times) also requires a need to modernise, adapt and be flexible.
High capacity netball facilities generate vast volumes of traffic and place very heavy impacts on neighbourhood amenity. Accelerating population growth increases traffic demands and reduces available open spaces presenting future growth challenges for the KNA.
Each time the KNA wish to expand and break past promises the local community is told “times change, population growth, adapt”. The community has been adapting, compromising and absorbing netball growth for 40 years. It is now time for the KNA to modernise and adapt their “flocking” model and distribute access to netball across a broad catchment (like other sports). If the KMC and KNA are serious about a long term plan for netball growth then adapt the netball model to be more compatible with a fast growing population.
To date, the KNA refuses to be modern and change with the times and exhibits an inability to be flexible and compromise, refusing to consider a netball model to distribute netball operations for fixtures across additional primary/secondary level netball facilities. This is not just cause to concentrate the high impact “flocking” model on a single peninsula community with inadequate road infrastructure. Times do change KNA, time to be modern and adapt your model to a fast growing population by distributing access to netball. This hard-line opposition to adapt is completely one-sided and unfair.
Note: The KNA do operate across a number of smaller facilities, mostly for training, but favour concentration in a single facility for fixtures (games). In the past KMC and the KNA have tried to locate an alternative primary netball location but failed to secure an appropriate site. What needs to change is to identify additional (not alternative) netball sites. Netball at Canoon Rd could be just one of many primary/secondary netball facilities for fixtures.
Time for netball to modernise, be flexible and adapt the model for a fast growing population
KNA has an opportunity to be leaders and modernise netball operations; in the long term netball will be better placed to flourish.