Park lease likely

Cumberland Councillor Joe Rahme with Ziad Jammal and Mary Ghamraoui from the Guildford County Soccer and Recreation Club.

NEGOTIATIONS are underway for a new lease at Guildford Park between Cumberland Council and the Guildford County Soccer and Recreation Club after the site was confirmed as crown land.

In February last year, Councillor Joe Rahme asked for an urgent clarification on the status of the land and buildings which have been occupied and directly managed by the soccer club since 1928.
Legal advice given to the councillors at their last meeting, outlined that a 10-year lease on the site with the former Parramatta City Council expired in December 2000 and no further agreement had been signed since.
Under the previous agreement, the club paid annual rent of $298 or five per cent of gross revenue for admission charges (whichever was higher), however the report also noted that no rent had been paid since the land was transferred to Cumberland Council following amalgamations.
Cumberland is also paying the utility bills for the hall and has been liaising with the Club to enter “an appropriate agreement to ensure long term use of the buildings is uninterrupted”.
Cr Rahme, who has played with the club, said he was very pleased that the council has conducted the due diligence and was now working with the club to “finalise the matter in a mutually suitable manner”.
“This club has been a cornerstone of our local sporting community for decades, buoyed by the tireless efforts of countless volunteers,” he said.
“This finalisation will provide the club with surety to now plan for a prosperous future and allow it to continue to be a cornerstone of our community. I look forward to my kids playing in this great club, just like I did.”