NEW BUILDING UPDATE

Randwick City Council is replacing the current facility we lease with a new development, the Heffron Centre, which will include a purpose-built gymnastics facility.

Whilst this is an exciting development and well overdue, disappointingly, the design as currently proposed does not meet the requirements as recommended by Bunnerong Gymnastics and Gymnastics NSW. Most significantly, the proposed gymnastics facility is too small for our members' needs. We will continue to update this page with the latest information and key documents.

Last updated 3 April 2021

What is happening?

As many of you will know, Bunnerong Gymnastics Association has been working with Randwick City Council for several decades to expand our current facility. Documents dated as far back as 1997 highlight the need for additional space at our current facility. Since 2003, Bunnerong has more formally worked with Randwick City Council to develop the concept and requirements for a new indoor sports facility that included a significantly upgraded gymnasium.

Key Facts

  • Council is proposing a $51.4m development that includes a gymnastics centre

    • The proposed gymnastics facility won't meet the needs of the community for which it was intended, as it is almost half the size as scoped out in the 2009 Heffron Park Plan of Management which was adopted by Crown Lands and Randwick City Council

  • The gymnastics space planned is not big enough

    • The proposed facility has less capacity for equipment when installed to modern standards. As currently proposed, the gymnastics centre will have 30% less equipment than the current Bunnerong facility.

  • Fewer children and community members will be able to use the facility.

    • A total minimum area of nearly 2,000m2 is required to meet the current equipment and membership requirements.

  • The Gymnastics Community has been raising funds to contribute to this new gymnastics facility to ensure it meets the community's requirements at no additional cost to Council however Council remains opposed to accepting funds from a not-for-profit group.

Facility size

An agreement around the indicative facility size and design was reached and reflected in the 2009 Heffron Park Plan of Management, and Council-approved budget with both the indoor sports and gymnastics centres being separate facilities of the same size. The facility worked for all parties and represented an important upgrade to enable more children to attend programs and for the facility to host competitions. Following approval from IPART, Randwick City Council sought funding via a rates increase to pay for the upgrades and development of a number of capital projects and initiatives, including the indoor sports and gymnastics centre components of the Heffron Centre.

Consultation

In 2019, Bunnerong Gymnastics was told it would be excluded from consultations with Council while an Expression of Interest process for the lease of the gymnasium took place. The interests and needs of the gymnastics community were instead well represented by Gymnastics NSW, which provided further input regarding the regulations and requirements for the continued successful operation of gymnastics programs, the community and competitions in the new facility.

The space as proposed

The recommendations and requirements provided by Bunnerong Gymnastics and Gymnastics NSW have been largely disregarded and are not reflected in the current plans for the new Heffron Centre on Bunnerong Road. Theconcept and design effectively halves the size of the gymnastics space outlined in the 2009 Plan of Management, and in practice will reduce the gymnastics equipment provided to less than the current facility due to ensuring all new equipment is set out and installed to today’s standards.

What this means for Bunnerong Gymnastics

If the facility remains as proposed, it will significantly impact our ability to continue to deliver programs, resulting in a reduction in the number of classes offered and the hours gymnasts train. A smaller facility will also result in a loss of members, increased costs for families and a reduction in staff – the opposite of what Bunnerong Gymnastics has been aiming to achieve for more than two decades. Further details about the plans and their impact on our operations can be found in this flyer.

Bunnerong Gymnastics is a non-profit community sporting organisation that has served the local community for 40 years. We continue to experience demand and growth for our fun and comprehensive gymnastics programs for kids. We currently have more than 1,000 members and each year the gymnastics facilities are used over 65,000 times by locals, school children, visitors and competitors. Bunnerong Gymnastics is the only club within a 10km radius that offers gymnastics for all, including Men’s Artistic and Women’s Artistic programs. The voice of our community needs to be heard and considered in any planning for the Bunnerong Road site.

We believe the Heffron Centre should be designed for everyone to share equitably and should be designed to meet the needs of all users. 

Update 3 April 2021 - Response to Randwick City Council's Questions and Answers

What can you do?

We need our membership base to make it clear to Council that there is a way to achieve a new, purpose-built facility that meets the current and future requirements of our sport.

  1. Comment on Council's Facebook Post regarding their Questions and Answers on the Gymnastics Facility

  2. Please sign and share our petition to Randwick City Council,

  3. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and share our posts about this issue.

  4. You may also like to email Council asking councillors to amend the proposal council@randwick.nsw.gov.au

Thank you for your support and commitment to Bunnerong, especially with the compromises in class sizes, class availability and the general presentation the current facility affords.

If you have further queries please do not hesitate to email newgym@bunneronggym.com.au

 

Frequently Asked Questions

See our response to Randwick City Council's release dated 30 March 2021 titled “Gymnastics and multi-purpose sports at the new Heffron Centre – Your questions answered

I understand the current gymnastics facility will be demolished, what will happen to current programs?

Randwick City Council has previously advised the existing Bunnerong Gymnastics Facility will remain operational during construction - the new facility will be built where the current indoor sports and old tennis courts are located. Bunnerong Gymnastics will pass on further details regarding construction as details are known.

We will continue to update this page with additional information. If you have a question you would like answered please do not hesitate to email newgym@bunneronggym.com.au

 

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