Monday, 2 May 2016
Statements by Members
I want to speak on the West Torrens Cricket Club, which was formed in 1857 and has been a part of the sporting fabric of the western suburbs of Adelaide since then. The club has won four club championships in recent times—no small feat. West Torrens has produced many test and state players, including the late, great, David Hookes, who made his debut at 17 before going on to greatness for South Australia and Australia.
Unfortunately, the South Australian Cricket Association—SACA—has decided that it needs to move to a 12-club grade competition and, following a confidential report, the West Torrens Cricket Club is one of two clubs that are in SACA's sights to merge. The use of a confidential report reduces transparency and creates problems with due process. Furthermore on matters of due process, there has not been a clear criteria outlined to West Torrens as to what they will be evaluated against. If there had been, and if it was on those matters that SACA has raised with both me and the club—such as on-field success, assets, financial stability, demographics, community support and future potential—then on any objective assessment the club definitely would not be at the bottom of the evaluation list. In fact, in many areas, especially their junior program or on-field success, they would be among the top performers.
The board of the club and many of its members, many of whom I met at a recent club night, are proud of the club and are committed to its future. I have spoken to SACA and informed board members of my concern, and so I urge SACA, in the best interests of cricket in the western suburbs and South Australia more broadly, to reconsider their decision and undertake a new process where they will clearly outline the criteria against which all clubs will be evaluated.