Project stages

  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Open for comments

    This consultation is closed.

  • Timeline item 2 - active

    Under review

    We are summarising your feedback.

  • Timeline item 3 - incomplete

    Council's decision

    Council will decide whether to adopt the policy.


A single policy for seasonal sporting ground allocations was adopted by Inner West Council in November 2018. This policy replaced all previous policies, terms and conditions, of hire of the three former Councils. The policy has been working extremely well with only a few minor issues raised during its tenure. This policy was scheduled for a formal review in November 2020 however this review was delayed due to COVID-19. A formal review of the policy has now been completed. Initial consultation was undertaken at the May 2023 Sports Forum with all community sporting grounds users. Input and submissions from seasonal sporting grounds users was also sought and received.

What is happening now?

The community is now being provided with the opportunity also to provide feedback on the updated Sporting Grounds Allocations Policy.

Summary of changes made to Council's Sporting Grounds Allocations Policy


Key Change

Commercial Sporting Providers seeking access to sporting grounds

Commercial providers of sport & recreation can now appeal allocations- so all hirers are on equal footing - previously they were excluded from appeals

Commercial providers who have historic and strong links to the inner west and can demonstrate community benefit through the provision of sporting activities are now given a 3-point weighting under Community Development in Weighted Criteria - previously they were allocated 0.

Access & Equity

Renamed to Planning, Programs and Leadership.

Child Safe Clubs Requirements

Introduced into the policy and a weighting applied.

Appeals Process

Change made- if the recommendation from the weighted assessment is not accepted by applicants, then an appeal process is available to the applicant. Appeals process involves a 3-person panel, 1 being external and clear terms of reference. Their recommendations and decision will be final.

Ground Conditions

clauses on ground condition to allow Parks Operations to best protect and maintain the grounds for ongoing use have been strengthened.

Un-utilised Sports Grounds

Clauses strengthened on underutilisation to make it even clearer Council can reallocate if allocation not being utilised.

Defibrillators in Council Sporting Grounds

In line with Council’s resolution of 20th December 2022 the Policy has been updated to include a clause that all Sporting clubs and organisations (community and commercial) accessing Council sporting grounds must have operational Defibrillators (AEDs) in place by the winter sporting season in 2024.

What is this policy about?

The Policy establishes eligibility and the selection criteria for the seasonal allocation of sporting grounds.

The purpose of this Policy is to contribute to a Healthier Inner West by encouraging active sports participation. The Policy will also establish eligibility and the selection criteria for the seasonal allocation of sporting grounds.

The objectives of this Policy are as follows:

  • To provide a transparent, equitable and consistent methodology for the seasonal allocation of sporting grounds and facilities to sports clubs, sports associations, schools, tertiary education providers and commercial sporting providers within the Inner West Council area.
  • To provide a diverse range of opportunities for participation in sport, recreation and physical activity for Inner West residents.
  • To provide access to sporting grounds and facilities which contribute to a Healthy Inner West and promote participation in active sport, physical activity and social connectedness.
  • To ensure the opportunity for participation of a broad mix of groups, including participation of girls; women; people from lower socio economic backgrounds; people with disabilities; seniors and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • To ensure that Council managed sporting grounds and facilities are occupied by inclusive, viable and sustainable sporting clubs and state sporting associations ( applicable to both community and commercial sporting providers).
  • To ensure that access to sporting grounds by all users has regard to the sustainability and maintenance requirements associated with good sporting ground management.

This policy applies to the following sporting grounds within the Inner West:

Algie Park, Arlington Recreation Reserve, Ashfield Park, Balmain Road (Callan Park), Birchgrove Oval, Blackmore Oval, Camdenville Oval , Camperdown Oval, Centenary Park, Cohen Park, Easton Park, Glover Street (Callan Park), Hammond Park, HJ Mahoney Memorial Reserve, King George Park, Leichhardt Oval # 2, Leichhardt Oval # 3, Mackey Park, Marrickville Park, Petersham Oval, Pratten Park, Richard Murden Netball Courts, SSC Leichhardt Campus, Steel Park, Tempe Recreation Reserve and Waterfront Drive (Callan Park).

This policy will apply to any new sporting grounds within the Inner West.

This policy does not apply to those sporting grounds which are the subject of an existing long term (greater than one season) lease or licence, until such time as these existing leases/ licences expire. These grounds include:

Sporting Ground

Organisation with Lease/Licence

Expiry of Lease/Licence

Lambert Park

APIA Leichhardt Tigers Football Club

Currently Under Renewal

Pratten Park

Western Suburbs District Cricket Club (Summer Season only)

August 2032

Robyn Webster Sports Centre & Tempe Netball Courts

Sydney University Sport and Fitness

Monthly service agreement

Leichhardt Oval

IWC -Managed as a Premier Sporting Facility. Use by Application

Henson Park

Newtown Jets and the AFL NSW

Proposed 21 Year License Agreement

New Leases, Licences and Deeds of Agreements

Should Council enter into a new lease, licence or Deed of Agreement with a club, state sporting association or education/tertiary institution Policy would no longer apply to the relevant sporting ground.

Leichhardt Oval and Henson Park

This policy does not apply to allocations at Leichhardt Oval. The Application to hire Leichhardt Oval may be found on the Council website.

Henson Park is exclusively utilised by AFL NSW/ ACT (Summer / Winter) and Newtown Jets (Winter). Both clubs must still fill in EOIs

Events in Parks Policy and Guidelines

This policy does not apply to special events and one-off events. These activities are managed under the Events in Parks Policy and Guidelines.

Have your say

Please let us know your feedback by completing the form below.

To provide feedback please create Your Say account, or login to an existing account.

Other ways to provide feedback

  • By mail, addressed to Inner West Council, PO Box 14, Petersham 2049, c/o Parks Engagement and Ecology Manager Aaron Callaghan
  • Call a FREE Interpreter or the National Relay Service, Monday to Friday between 9am-4pm and provide our phone number 02 9392 5634
    • Free Interpreter call TIS National on 131 450
    • Voice relay call 1300 555 727
    • TTY call 133 677
    • SMS relay call 0423 677 767
  • To request a paper copy of the survey form please call Aaron Callaghan on 02 9392 5634

Last day to provide feedback is Tuesday 3 October 2023.

What happens next?

Council will consider all feedback and the draft Sporting Grounds Allocations Policy may be amended accordingly prior to Council's final decision. Everyone who provided feedback will be notified.