By Jess Baker
The Stanthorpe Sports Association (SSA) has put the final touches on its 2021-2023 Strategic Plan and hopes to have it released to Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) in coming weeks.
The SSA President Colin Britton said the new plan does not differ significantly from previous plans but the Association has made an effort to make it more “user-friendly”.
“This plan is a bit more compact but it resets all the same goals,” he said.
Priorities set out in the plan have had to change slightly to reflect the strained funding environment the SSA now faces.
“We plan years in advance… our projects are planned and ready to go and then when a grant comes up we go for it,” Colin said.
“But there is a shortage of grant opportunities available at the moment – state, federal and local.”
The 2021-2023 Strategic Plan has taken more than six months to complete, said Colin, mostly due to Covid-19 restraints.
“Our Strategic Plan is what you would call a business plan,” he said.
“We do a SWOT analysis and look at our strengths and weaknesses, we assess and establish the resources we need, and we engage the community through surveys.
“It takes a few levels of information so we started this plan last year… but the process has slowed down a little bit with Covid.”
Colin said costs for projects in the new plan range from $10,000 to $250,000.
“It’s hard to get funding beyond that $250,000 point,” he said.
The SSA will meet with SDRC in coming weeks not just to discuss its new Strategic Plan, but also to negotiate a new lease.
“The SSA is looking forward to meeting with Council,” said Colin.
“We haven’t had the chance to discuss our lease with them yet due to Covid.”
Colin said the SSA is now occupying the McGlew Street sporting fields under the “holding over” clause in its existing lease with SDRC.
This essentially means the lease has expired, but the terms are still in effect.
“Our lease is being reviewed by Council,” said Colin.
“We hope that the process runs more smoothly than it has previously.”
The lease negotiation will come two years after the SSA successfully sued SDRC for more than $26,000 for breaching the Association’s lease of the sporting fields by failing to mow the fields since July 2016.
“It’s a totally different Council now so we’re hoping we can work well with them,” said Colin.