Local Councillors voice support for Jubilee St.George Councillors have voiced their concern over the prospect of the Dragons shifting their round 24 St.George heritage match against the Wests Tigers from OKI Jubilee Stadium to the SCG.
The round 24 home game is part of the NRL's "Sixties Week" and the SCG Trust and the NRL have approached the Dragons to request that the fixture be moved from the St.George District to Moore Park.
Kogarah season ticketholders have reacted furiously to the possibility of OKI Jubilee Stadium losing one of its five home games and representatives of the three St.George Councils have echoed their views.
Kogarah Councillor Mark Coure believes that switching the match to the SCG would be detrimental to the local area and that the ground should be being utilised regularly following the recent refurbishments.
"Having the game at OKI Jubilee would benefit local residents and the local community. It's unfortunate that there is talk of moving the match elsewhere, considering the large amounts of time and money that the Federal Government has put into the ground," Mr Coure said.
"The Prime Minister gave $8 million for the latest upgrade and I would like to see more games at Kogarah in the future. The last thing we want to do is reduce the number of games."
Rockdale Deputy Mayor Bill Saravinovski, a key supporter of Rockdale contributing funding to the ground in 2003, is extremely passionate about Kogarah maintaining its full allocation of home games.
"St.George is our team and they should be playing at Jubilee Oval. Rockdale Council agreed to pay $50,000 for the upgrade of Jubilee Oval so we could bring the Saints back to their rightful home and not the SCG," Mr Saravinovski said.
"I would like to remind the Board that St.George is our team and they need to look after the loyal fans and not the NRL Board," Mr Saravinovski added.
The issue of Rockdale Council's financial contribution to OKI Jubilee Stadium also concerns Rockdale's Greens Councillor Lesa de Leau.
"Rockdale Council made a $50,000 investment on behalf of the Rockdale community to help bring the Dragons back to Jubilee. That money could have been used for any number of services, including local sporting facilities. Rockdale is proud to be part of St George, but loyalty and goodwill should not be taken for granted," Ms de Leau stated.
"If a league team wants local support, it must ensure games are accessible to the local community. The community spirit grows when you cheer for your local team at the local ground."
Hurstville Council also signed off on a $50,000 donation to the Jubilee Oval Community Appeal in 2003 following enthusiastic support from Hurstville Councillors such as Steve McMahon. Councillor McMahon highlighted the fact that local businesses would be disadvantaged by the Dragons moving the match away from their St.George key community.
"I support the fixture remaining in Kogarah as a local game means local money," Mr McMahon said.
While the clash with the Tigers is part of the NRL's "Sixties Week" it is also scheduled to be the annual St.George heritage day following the Illawarra heritage day at WIN Stadium in round 2.
"It would certainly be unfortunate if we couldn't host St.George heritage day in the St.George District and go to the five OKI Jubilee Stadium games that many Red V members have paid for in advance," R2K's Lachlan McLean said.
A decision on whether the Tigers match gets relocated to the SCG is expected within days.