Members of the Mt Barker sporting community are looking forward to many more years of sporting fun after the shire council voted to extend their lease at Sounness Park for another five years. The Plantagenet Sporting Club is made up of representatives from the four founding clubs; hockey, football, soccer and cricket, and holds the lease common area at Sounness Park. Rachel Wright, president of the PSC and hockey club, and Matt Gilbert president of the Mt Barker Football Club, both presented to the council in favour of the officer’s recommendation, which proposed a one-year short-term lease renewal until September 30, 2023. An external review of the existing lease and operating model was also recommended to “ensure optimum community benefit”. The officer’s recommendation was hotly debated by the council with an alternative motion moved by Cr Waltering to immediately prepare a lease under the same terms as the current agreement until 2027 with a potential five-year option. Cr Waltering said this was consistent with other leases to similar organisations in the community. The alternative motion was carried with seven for and two councillors against. Ms Wright said she was delighted that the council supported the five-year renewal of the lease. “It’s a great step forward for the community and the sporting groups involved,” she said. “We look forward to working within the sporting club to ensure we can bring great sports to Mount Barker.” With a number of events slated for next year in Mt Barker, Ms Wright said the lease gave the clubs certainty and stability moving forwards. “We’ve booked in the Wine Show of WA in October, the Great Southern Hockey Carnival happening in July that attracts 25-plus teams to the town from all over rural and remote WA, and I believe that Mount Barker is hosting the football grand final too.” Shire president Chris Pavlovich voiced support for the PSC. “Council is right behind the PSC in providing a venue for sport in the community,” he said.