Ernest Johnson Reserve community facilities

Media Response 12 January 2018

Journalist’s background: I just wanted to clarify when and how it was decided that the new hall and pavilion on Ernest Johnson Reserve would be named after MLA John McGrath. Was community consultation sought in regards to naming these areas of reserve? 

Please attribute the following quotes to Mayor Sue Doherty.

When and how was it decided that the new hall and pavilion would be named after MLA John McGrath. 

Local parliamentary members have been recognised in a range of ways in the City of South Perth including the naming of Bill Grayden Reserve, the Phillip Pendal Heritage Awards as well as the Transperth ferry that bears his name.

Given John McGrath’s contribution as South Perth’s long-serving MLA, as well as his support and significant interest in sport locally and state-wide, I decided in December 2017 that the new buildings be named after him.

The new community facilities on Ernest Johnson Reserve will be used by numerous local groups including South Perth Junior Football Club, South Perth Cricket Club, South Perth Playgroup, Western Australia Football Commission Umpires, South Perth sub-branch of the Returned & Services League (currently located in Angelo Street, South Perth), Girl Guides South Perth, Rotary Club of South Perth Burswood, South Perth Little Athletics Club, South Perth Junior Cricket Club as well as local residents and users of EJ Reserve.

In consideration of the wide range of user groups it was considered appropriate to name the facilities after someone who represents the South Perth community rather than an individual group or club.

As South Perth’s State Member, Mr McGrath has represented our community’s interests across a range of areas. The naming of the facilities after him was thought to be a fitting gesture, to thank him for his efforts in representing our community, particularly given his passion for sport.

Mr McGrath is a passionate and highly involved community leader, he is patron and supporter of numerous local sporting clubs. He has lived in the City of South Perth for 25 years. Elected into the Western Australian Legislative Assembly as the Member for South Perth in 2005, he was re-elected in the 2008, 2013 and 2017 election.  Mr McGrath will not be seeking re-election at the conclusion of his current term in Parliament.

Mr McGrath is a board member of the South Perth Hospital and co-patron of the South Perth Bowling Club; sponsor and former fundraising board member of The Esther Foundation; a member of South Perth Historical Society; honorary member Mill Point and Como Rotary Clubs; patron of Manning Men’s Shed; and sponsor of the Amanda Young Foundation. 

Was community consultation sought in regards to naming these areas of reserve?

There was no community consultation regarding the naming of the new facilities on Ernest Johnson Reserve.  The City does not have a policy regarding community consultation for naming of its community facilities.

At the Council’s next Audit, Risk and Governance Meeting, a draft policy will be considered which provides clarity and guidance around naming of facilities, community consultation and an approval process.

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