Thursday 29 March 2012

Hansard of the Legislative Council.



Mr FINCH(Rosevears) - When Australian diggers returned from the First World War, they set up groups and clubs around Australia to enable them to keep in touch with each other. These groups were very diverse, and of course they all had to be in varying degrees locally based. One such group was established in the heart of my electorate of Rosevears in the hamlet of Rosevears itself. It was the Diggers Cricket Club. It still has that name from 1919.

By the way, Rosevears boasts the oldest continually licensed -

Mr Harriss - Member of Parliament.

Members laughing.

Mr FINCH - hotel in Australia. That is the Rosevears Hotel, which is in a very picturesque and scenic area of Rosevears.

Ms Forrest - Your local, is it?

Mr FINCH - No, not yet but it might be.

Mr Wilkinson - Not this year anyway.

Mr FINCH - If we keep developing the Rosevears area, it is going to be a place to want to be and live. This is what I am talking about in respect of the Diggers Cricket Club ground that they used to play on; it is in a very scenic, beautiful location, and the Diggers Cricket Club was based there for many years. As I say, it represented this opportunity for returned soldiers to play cricket together. The club has grown considerably since its establishment in 1919. It still survives. I will say that it has four teams now that compete in A-grade, A-reserve, B-grade and in the Sunday league and it also has 50 players. After many years of playing at the Rosevears oval, because of facilities the club was forced to move to a cricket ground at Windsor Park. But now it wants to move back to its original home and a wide community campaign has been launched to achieve that aim.

In this day and age, it is all well and good for a cricket club to want to go back but to get support from your local council, from the State Government, from community grants bodies, you must show partnerships in the community, there must be shared facilities. The Diggers Cricket Club have gone about embracing their community and encouraging them to think about what might be at the Rosevears oval if it is developed along with those facilities for the cricket club.

This home for the Diggers Cricket Club was not just a dream for them but in fact for the community, and we found with our investigation that there was a very solid garden club within the community. There is an arts society on the West Tamar. There are Scouts, Guides and Cubs that do not have a regular base to call their own. This would be a perfect location. Also it would be a safe exercise area and contribute to the health and fitness of the West Tamar community. The ground, by the way, is in good shape and a business plan will be carefully worked out.

Ms Rattray - Who owns the ground?

Mr FINCH - The West Tamar Council. On 20 February, more than 60 local residents and ratepayers attended a gathering at the Rosevears oval and a collective group have been formed called the Rosevears Oval Community Group, which includes the Diggers Cricket Club, the garden group and other users, so it is a genuine grassroots community initiative.

To achieve their aim to make the Rosevears ground their official home they have wisely sought that community support. Representatives of the group met the West Tamar Council on 20th of this month to ask the council to ensure that public amenities at the Rosevears oval are retained and help to further develop the site. It is argued that without those basic facilities, such as toilets, the ground cannot be used to its full potential. There were toilets there, they were locked by the council and then removed by the council. At one stage it had the hall like in the good old days when the local bulldozers used to bring in a hall from somewhere and set it up, and the hall was there for many years but that also has been removed.

The idea is to redevelop in line with the West Tamar Council's thinking, and I will quote from the council's vision statement:

'As an active and effective community enhancing West Tamar as a desired place to live, work and visit.'

That vision statement also says:

'The development and expansion of public and recreational spaces oriented towards young people and families.'

And that is exactly what this Rosevears Oval Community Group is trying to achieve.

I know the council must show caution when new ideas and new initiatives come forward and they must see that the community proves itself over time that it is achievable, that they do want it and that it will have a role to play in the community. I can see that it will be a great day when the Diggers Cricket Club have relocated back to the Rosevears oval at beautiful Rosevears in my electorate of Rosevears.