Give the Albert Park Falcons a fighting chance, improve their facilities

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The Albert Park Falcons Football & Netball Club is a not-for-profit club aimed at providing sporting opportunities for senior men and women. 

The club has 6 teams (3 netball teams, 2 senior men's football teams and a new women's football team) and has a number of local sponsors and supporters in the Albert Park and City of Port Phillip area. 

The club has always had difficulty when it comes to facilities with its home ground (oval 20) the most impacted oval in the Albert Park precinct due to the Formula One Grand Prix. 

Our oval is located on the first corner of the race and each year has a stadium put across half of its ground. As a result, each year the club is forced to relocate for 12 weeks (February-May) to another oval, without facilities, and also without any guarantee of where we will be moved to. 

The Falcons also, like any community club, invest heavily in its club rooms, Beaurepaire Pavilion. In the last five years alone, the club has spent $65,000 of its own money on improving the facilities to make it a family-friendly environment. Significantly larger than any other clubs who utilise the facility. 

Unfortunately the club receives little to no support from Parks Victoria in facility improvements, or basic services, which is unlike any other sporting club/ local council relationship in most areas. Like many of the clubs in the Albert Park precinct we are neglected in facility support, but it has become an important time for our club to receive some assurances around our relocation during preseason, improvements to our oval and support for our facilities. 

The club continues to spend its own money on bandaid solutions to a public asset with no support from its landlord or manager in Parks Victoria, and the club has made the decision not to spend any more money on the facility without some longer term assurances or support from Parks Victoria.

There are two things the clubs is asking for -

1. Guaranteed preseason allocations for oval 1 for the 12 weeks we are forced to relocate due to the Formula One - February-May. This is a key recruiting period for the club and we are often given various fields or late times to train. We have nowhere else to go but Oval 1, and even then we are using portable offices and toilets for changerooms. 

2. A commitment from Parks Victoria to do major drainage and ground works to Oval 20 to ensure the oval recovers quicker from the Formula One and remains in a playable state throughout the year.

We need a commitment that those works will be completed with 24 months.

The Albert Park Falcons have decided not to spend any more of its money on improving the facility, while our oval is in, and continues to be in, such a poor condition each year. So until we get that commitment we won't spend any more money on the facility and we will continue to explore our options.

The club would love to be long-term tenants in the park but requires these assurances to continue, otherwise we would be forced to review other options including relocation and amalgamation, which would be a disappointing outcome for the club and the local community.