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Sanderson to meet with Crows to discuss park lands HQ bid

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State MP for Adelaide Rachel Sanderson has requested a briefing from the Adelaide Football Club about its controversial plan to replace the Adelaide Aquatic Centre with a $65 million new headquarters in the park lands.

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The Liberal frontbencher told InDaily in a statement she had requested the briefing “to get a full understanding” of the Crows’ proposal, which involves knocking down the 50-year-old Aquatic Centre at Park 2 in North Adelaide and building a new training and administration centre with adjoining public swimming facilities.

Sanderson remained tight-lipped about whether she backs the plan, instead saying she supported her constituents submitting their feedback throughout the 10-week public consultation period, which began last week.

“As the Member for Adelaide my door is always open to hear feedback and concerns from my constituents,” she said.

“I have requested a briefing with the Adelaide Football Club and will be meeting with them to get a full understanding of their proposal.”

The State Government will not be involved in granting approval for the plan, aside from the normal regulatory functions it carries through the State Commission Assessment Panel.

The decision will ultimately lie with Adelaide city councillors, the majority of whom say they are yet to decide whether they support the Crows’ proposal, which is still in draft form.

Once the council wraps up its public consultation, elected members will vote to progress the proposal to stage 3 of its unsolicited bid process, which will involve the club presenting more detailed concept plans.

The proposal has received considerable backlash from park lands advocates and some city councillors, who claim it represents a commercial infringement on the park lands.

However, the Crows argue their draft plan would return over 6000-square metres to the park lands and would include about 5000-square metres of publicly-accessible swimming facilities that the club would only use “on an occasional hire basis”.

Under the club’s plan, existing ovals on Barton Terrace West would also be upgraded to a new “high-quality, AFL-standard” facility, while the ovals on Park 2 would remain untouched and unfenced.

The entrance to the Adelaide Football Club’s proposed sports and community centre. Image: Adelaide Football Club

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