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Sharks juniors safe ... as redevelopment plan goes to vote
St George & Sutherland Shire Leader; By Brad Forrest; 18 February 2011

CRONULLA Sharks have given assurances about the future of Cronulla Caringbah and the Cronulla-Sutherland Junior League in advance of the crucial vote on Monday night on the redevelopment of the Sharks Woolooware Bay landholdings.

Members will vote on resolutions which would allow the club to enter into a property partnership with an experienced consortium, which would then seek the highest and best-use approval for the club's 10 hectares of land.

The club and consortium Capital Corporation, Bluestone Property Solutions and Parkview Constructions have signed a heads of agreement and upon execution of these documents, the consortium will advance $2 million to the club in the form of a loan to be repaid from the proceeds of the project. The consortium will spend about $2 million of its money in seeking development approval.

Financiers believe the redevelopment, to provide 500 jobs in the region, will give the battling club a regular income stream from a mix of lump sum payments from the residential project, annual income from the retail component, as well as a better trading leagues club through an expected increase in patronage.

The Sharks yesterday stated the NRL club would be able to "better help" the junior league.

"Over the past few years the club has been forced to reduce its contribution to Junior League because of its worsening financial position," a Sharks spokesman said.

"The redevelopment of the club-owned assets will enable us to establish new, long term commitments to junior league."

The Sharks, he said, had already discussed a new home for the Cronulla Caringbah Junior Leagues Club, the major tenant on the playing fields which would be used for the club's property development.

"A working committee is being formed with Cronulla Caringbah to get the most beneficial outcome for the Club and junior league," he said.

"Relocation of the two playing fields and Cronulla Caringbah is a requirement of the proposal, and the Sharks will ensure the club and junior league are not disadvantaged in any way."