The Cheltenham Golf Club guide to the council elections 2020

Back in 2009,  the very existence of Cheltenham Golf Club  was under threat.

Golf had been played on the Cheltenham Golf Course since the "Cheltenham Park Golf Club" was first established in 1910 and re-established as the Cheltenham Golf Club in the late 1920's.

The Moorabbin Shire had granted the club permissive occupancy of the Crown Land for the course and with tenure guaranteed, the club purchased two plots of land adjacent the the course, from Victoria Golf Club .  In 1939 a tender was advertised for the construction of a clubhouse on the club land.

And so it was that the club existed happily for many years.  At some stage, the State decided that Crown Land should be managed by a committee of management and delegated management to the Bayside council who, as Landlord, allowed permissive occupancy to continue.

However, storms were looming. 

A nearby resident, councillor and one-time Mayor of Bayside made clear his views of the future of the golf club by seeking alternate uses of the land.  In 2009 the Bayside council told the committee of the club that permissive occupancy had ceased and the club had to enter a lease for the course.

The President was told that if a lease was not agreed, the club would lose the course

So with this threat hanging over his head, the President and small team  commenced negotiations.

This was not a friendly negotiation.  Clearly, some councillors wanted the golf club off the land.

Instead of a supportive council that understood the benefits which the club was providing to the community, no consideration was given to the club's status as a not-for-profit community organisation.  The fact that the land had been used as a golf course since 1910 was immaterial; the fact that the club had installed drainage and improved the land was immaterial; the fact that the club owned property adjacent to the course (and would be useless without the course) didn't matter.  The fact that the club maintained and improved the land at no cost to the council or the public purse made no difference. 

The council wanted revenue and the club didn't have the finances for lawyers or the knowledge of Crown Land leasing and skills to negotiate strongly.

The councillors who wanted the club off the land had a plan and pushed for a high cost lease with a heavy annual increase, knowing that if they lost the vote and the club continued with a lease, then the the club would have to bear an increased financial burden.  

In the end, the President agreed to an annual rent of $33,100 with an increase of at least 5% every year, just to keep the club alive.

The lease took away the peppercorn rent that the club paid for the previous permissive occupancy and replaced it with the burden of a large and rapidly increasing rental,  as well as requiring the club to pay rates based on the valuation of the land, not as parkland, but as best possible use.   All these fees , in addition to the annual  cost of maintaining and improving the course with no assistance or support form the council.

Lets keep the council truly independent.

Three of these councillors have nominated for this years council elections.

Here are our recommendations for voting for each Bayside electorate.

A copy of the club's letter to each candidate can be viewed here.

The responses from the candidates have been recorded and our voting recommendations can be found below..

Beckett Ward
Bleazby Ward
Boyd Ward
Castlefield Ward
Dendy Ward
Ebden Ward
Ivison Ward

You can also read the issues that the Beaumaris Soccer Club are having.