Protest targets Liverpool Council vote on bowling club demolition

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On again: last week’s protests against Liverpool Council.

An extraordinary Liverpool Council meeting today at 1pm will be the focus of more protests against plans to demolish the old Liverpool Bowling Club building in Bigge Park.

More than 100 local people will hold a snap protest at lunch time today, ahead of the meeting which will vote on a rescission motion on the proposed demolition.

Local residents, council employees, unions, Aboriginal Land Council representatives and homelessness advocates will take part in the snap rally outside the council chambers at 12.45pm today.

A larger community rally will take place on Saturday, between 11am and 1pm, at Bigge Park, where the building is located.

At last week’s council meeting the following motion was supported by a majority of councillors:

The demolition of the Bowling Club is put on hold until a Liverpool Listens survey is conducted.

No iconic facility to be built in Bigge Park.

Council have a briefing session to discuss how the Bowling Club can be incorporated into the Homeless policy drafted by Council.

 A briefing session be called for Councillors to determine the cost of breaking the contract.

A rescission motion was lodged signed by the Mayor Ned Mannoun and fellow Liberal Party councilors Mazhar Hadid and Gus Balloot.

If successful, a rescission motion overturns the previous decision of council.

Councillors Peter Harle and Peter Ristevski said they were concerned about the rescission motion.

Both said they planned to “ask a lot of questions’’ during today’s meeting.

[social_quote duplicate=”no” align=”default”]“I will be asking a few questions because I have some concerns with this and then I will decide how to vote, ‘’ said Cr Harle, the sole independent on Liverpool Council.[/social_quote]

Since the bowling club ceased operating, the building had until recently been used by the Salvation Army to provide homeless services.

The United Services Union has also chimed in with criticism of today’s meeting, calling it a “highly unusual move’’.

“Last week, without notice, bulldozers demolished the sound shell in Bigge Park, which had been providing shelter for up to a dozen homeless people each night until recently,” USU general secretary Graeme Kelly said.

“Elected councillors last week voted that no demolition should take place until the community was properly consulted, further information was provided, and an examination of its role in addressing homelessness were considered.

“Rather than provide that information, as requested, the Mayor has taken the unusual step of calling an extraordinary meeting — at a time that will be very difficult for councillors or members of the public to attend — to force through the demolition of the club.

“The former bowling club site is also part of an ongoing Aboriginal Land Claim, which should be resolved before any demolition or construction takes place at ratepayers expense.’’

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