Residents will remember the GESAC basketball allocation fiasco where the Oakleigh Warriors were given the lease of the newly created basketball courts instead of the local McKinnon Basketball group. The arguments presented by Paul Burke at the time were that the Warriors had promised council more money and about 120 hours filled in court time. We also believe that the ombudsman became involved in this decision. Public questions followed, none of which were satisfactorily answered –  for example: are the Warriors paying their weekly rental? are they meeting the stated court hours?

Well now it appears that:

  • Council could be owed thousands and thousands of dollars that the Warriors have not paid on their weekly rent
  • Bob Mann is now gone
  • McKinnon Basketball has been granted access to GESAC
  • Does any of this account for GESAC’s stated loss of $340,000+ from the anticipated income?
  • What does this say about the ‘business plan’ instituted by Newton, Burke and the councillor group? What ‘evidence’ was supplied at the time to ensure that the Warriors could afford what they promised? and
  • How much have residents forked out over the years in subsidising another woeful decision from this administration and councillors?
  • Will this council produce figures that clearly reveal all income and expenditure on GESAC? If not, why not?

Here is the Leader’s version of events –

Oakleigh Basketball Association slammed by messy off-court chaos

OAKLEIGH  Basketball Association is in tatters with financial and governance issues meaning hundreds of children have been forced to leave the league.

The association, which last year had more than 500 junior players, has had its operations put on hold by Basketball Victoria after an inquiry.

Some players have been transferred to the McKinnon Basketball Association, while representative players had the option of trying out with other associations or establishing an Oakleigh team in the McKinnon or Port Phillip associations.

Glen Eira Council reached a deal with McKinnon which will see the association have use of the Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre basketball courts this season; the courts would usually be used by Oakleigh.

Basketball Victoria manager Stephen Walter said he initially stepped in to resolve a governance issue as two committees had claimed control of the ­association.

“There were lot of families leaving the club or they just weren’t re-registering; the club had lost critical mass to run a domestic competition,” Mr Walter said.

Tony Pitara, who was president of one of the club committees, said he had identified a tax debt at the club, dating back to 2009 and that was being addressed.

Mr Pitara said he respected Basketball Victoria’s decision, but was confident that had the club sorted out its internal “politics”, it could have found a solid financial footing in two to three ­seasons.

Karen Wilson, vice-president of the newer committee said she had been informed the debt was in the region of a “manageable” $70,000.

But she said the sacking of the head of coaching had created dissatisfaction and prompted the establishment of the second committee.

Cheltenham mum Rosey Cooke, whose son Andrew had played at Oakleigh for five years, said parents weren’t consulted.

“The kids don’t understand all this business — they just want to play ball,” Ms Cooke said.