For some time now an activist group called the Brookvale Valley Community Group has worked to counter any development projects put forward by the MW Football & Leagues Clubs. If you recall, when Max Delmege first became a sponsor of Manly, part of the deal was for the Football Club offices (opposite the Leagues Club) to be redeveloped to a three storey building. Some of the space would be sold off to commercial interests with Delmege and the club splitting the profits. As far as I’m aware this project is still in play but the local whingers have been successful in having a decision by council postponed for about 3 or 4 years now. As we have now moved the core of the Football Club functions to Narrabeen they may not be too worried about it. The big residential development project (for the car park) outlined by the Leagues Club last year will also be the subject of a massive battle with these same whingers and the council if it is to get off the ground. The other pet whinge of this group is the installation of decent lights at Brookie. Manly has had support from Warringah council and the Federal Govt has now allocated $1m for the project but these jerks are still trying to prevent it from happening. The danger is that due to the old council being sacked a couple of years ago we are currently in the hands of a single independent administrator (Dick Persson). As Brookie is council owned land he could still cause problems. I have reproduced below a recent letter from the Manly Daily. Underneath that is a letter I have sent off to the MD yesterday. I really wanted to abuse the bloke but I tried to keep it civil so hopefully it is printed. Can I suggest that anyone else who feels strongly about Mark Baxter’s sly letter also sends a note off to the Manly Daily. Let’s show him that there are plenty of people out there who want the lights installed. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and you need to keep it to about 250 words. Manly Daily Letters to the Editor Friday, 10 June 2005 Use grant for turf, not lights The Federal Government’s Budget gift of $1 million for new TV-standard lights for the Sea Eagles is the latest raid on public funds to support what has become a private shareholder-owned company, the majority owner a real estate agent. Touted as a victory for the northern beaches, the lights can only be used for up to six night matches a year, a condition of approval by the independent assessor due to the impact on residents. A major beneficiary is likely to be News Ltd which “owns” the NRL and wants the lights for its pay TV interests. If the money is to be spent on the oval rather than hospitals or schools, it would be preferable to put the $1 million towards an upgrading of the turf and drainage system so it can be used more intensively and by other sporting groups and also community and school groups. Dick Persson, as administrator of council-owned land, could simply request the money be spent on the turf. Mark Baxter Brookvale Valley Community Group My response, Light it up Mark Baxter (Use grant for turf, not lights MD, June 10) and his friends from Brookvale valley need to realise that the world is bigger than their little neighbourhood. Installation of lights at Brookvale Oval does not just benefit the Manly rugby league football club or News Ltd. It will benefit the thousands of supporters (many of whom are local residents like you Mark) who follow the team along with other users of the ground. The real purpose behind your stance would appear to be more related to those thousands of supporters disrupting your world for a few hours every couple of weeks. Many people, including myself, live near sporting venues and have to periodically put up with increased traffic, noise and lights. We all chose our address and if the negatives outweigh the positives we look to move somewhere else. Rather than constantly looking for ways to stymie the efforts by the rugby league club to improve their fortunes you could recognise the entertainment opportunity they provide to a large number of families and individuals. The fact that the lights could only be used for up to six matches a year is presented as an argument for not installing them at all. I would imagine that this group of activists are the reason why the six game limit is there in the first place. Having failed thus far to halt this progressive move Mark is now trying to influence the council administrator to redirect the use of the Federal Govt budget grant. Please stand aside and let the lights shine on the entertainment at Brookie.