Background

  • Warringah Council conducted an exhaustive two-year $250,000 community consultation process as part of the District Park Plan of Management review. In its final report (July, 2016), it recommended the “continued operation of Warringah Golf Course as an 18-hole golf course”
  • The DPPM review involved widespread community consultation including public submissions, emails and letters, meetings with stakeholder groups and six community drop in sessions
  • Despite this consultation, the amalgamated Northern Beaches Council has set aside the Final Report and wants to conduct a new review titled “The Northern Beaches Sportsground Strategy and Golf Courses Review”.

History

  • Warringah Golf Course has been an integral part of the northern beaches sports community for 80 years. The development of the course and its tree-lined nature has been undertaken by Club Members
  • Warringah Golf Course is actively used by participants from other sports groups
  • A high proportion of Warringah Golf Course participants played weekend sport before retiring. They now play golf for the competitive and social aspect the sport presents
  • The Club and members actively participate in a number of golf-related fundraising programs and fundraising golf days each year
  • The Club has invested up to $90 million to maintain and upgrade the Course over its 80 years
  • The Club has a proud history of supporting charities such as Men of League, Bear Cottage, Legacy, Rotary, Lions Club International, Stewart House, Burdekin Association and Pink of Hope

Playing Rounds

  • Over 65,000 rounds of golf per year – up to 180 males and female players per day – seven days a week
  • Over 6 million rounds, ranging from six year olds to 96 year olds, over the past 80 years
  • The course is open 364 days per year, from sunrise until sunset - not just on weekends
  • The course is open to Members and Public
  • 72 social sports clubs play at Warringah Golf Course and rely on Course availability

Availability and Affordability

  • Other Northern Beaches public courses are already at capacity and will be unable to facilitate our 65,000 rounds of golf, particularly on weekends
  • Playing at Warringah Golf Course is more affordable compared to other local 18-hole public courses
  • Lowest 18-hole playing fees on the peninsula
  • Local private courses are not open for public use and are unaffordable for most to join and pay the annual subscription fee

Terrain

  • Warringah Golf Course is largely flat and attracts a high number of older male and female community members who otherwise would be unable to manage other hilly public courses such as Long Reef and Wakehurst

Demographic

  • According to the Northern Beaches Council Community Strategic Plan Issues Paper issued in September 2016, 69% of the northern beaches population are aged 25 and over
  • According to Australian Bureau of Statistics forecasts, the 45 and over age bracket on the northern beaches population will increase at a significantly faster rate than the 0-44 age bracket over the next 10 years
  • The Northern Beaches Council Community Strategic Plan Issues Paper states “as our population grows and gets older, it will be a core challenge to provide and maintain accessible recreational facilities that cater for a broad range of community needs”
  • The Northern Beaches Council’s Community Strategic Plan Issues Paper further states “all community members need to feel connected” and identified specific issues and risks to social cohesion include “risk of social isolation particularly affecting older people and people with a disability in the community”

Financial

  • The annual $1.2 million cost associated with the upkeep and maintenance of Warringah Golf Course is currently 100% underwritten by Warringah Golf Club
  • Warringah Golf Club currently pays $76,000 in lease fees per annum to Northern Beaches Council
  • The Club is ready to invest $5 million of its own funds into a new club house and community sports facility as part of the District Park Plan of Management tender
  • As part of its proposed tender, Warringah Golf Club has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Mark Moran Group for the sale of the current Golf Club site
  • Mark Moran Group plans to build a $50 million Aged Care facility on the site
  • The proposed new Golf Club and Aged Care facility will be built without Council paying one cent towards their construction

Environmental

  • The Golf Course has over 1800 mature trees and is home to a vast and abundant array of birds and other wildlife. Further wildlife and fish occupy creeks and wetlands which line and cross the Course
  • Part of the golf course green space will be transformed into a bitumen car park as no parking is permitted on Condamine Street
  • The increase in traffic associated with sports field users will result in higher emissions from cars and motor bikes

Public Amenity

  • The construction of playing fields will result in whistles and crowd cheering from the early morning until dusk, while floodlights will be used into the evening for sports training

Parking, traffic and pedestrian safety

  • There will be increased traffic and congestion along Condamine Street, Kentwell Road and Pittwater Road as sports field users travel to and from the playing fields at regular intervals. This will have a knock-on effect, particularly through Brookvale and Dee Why
  • Local residents will face limited street parking availability because of overflow sports field users car parking
  • Pedestrians will be placed at higher risk because of the increased volume of traffic ingress and egress associated with sports field users

Local Jobs

  • Warringah Golf Course and Golf Club currently has over 20 full-time and part-time staff
  • The construction and operation of the proposed new Age Care facility and new Golf Club will provide significant employment to hundreds of local workers and provide a boost to the Northern Beaches economy

Community Benefits

  • The Golf Course contributes to a vibrant, inclusive and cohesive community for males and females of all ages
  • Embraces diversity in our community by encouraging and providing participation for all, regardless of age, gender or ethnic background
  • Provides healthy, year-round whole of life recreation and sporting activity for males and females of all ages
  • Offers affordable recreational sporting activities for males and females of all ages
  • The retention of 18-holes eliminates additional development and maintenance costs for Council ratepayers
  • Maintains and enhances the environmental, wildlife and biodiversity assets of the golf course lands
  • Continuation of ongoing fundraising for community programs
  • Meets the Northern Beaches Council Strategic Plan Issues Paper’s ‘three pillars of sustainability’: environmental, social and economic perspectives
  • Meets the changing demographic needs for social inclusion, as identified in the Northern Beaches Council Strategic Plan Issues Paper
  • Offers a new $50 million Aged Care facility providing local employment and economic benefits. This proposed facility meets the peninsula’s growing and changing demographic needs as identified in the Northern Beaches Council Strategic Plan Issues Paper
  • A $5 million investment of its own funds into a new club house and community sports facility as part of the District Park Plan of Management tender