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What is Brookvale Park and what is Brookvale Oval?

Brookvale Park is the entire area bordered by Pine Avenue in the east, Pittwater Road to the south, Alfred Road to the west and Federal Parade to the North. Brookvale Oval is the sportsground section of the Park and is roughly the fenced area of the Park. The Oval contains all the grandstands and most of the other buildings on the site.

Site plan

Brookvale Park is situated on ‘Community Land’, what is ‘Community Land’?

Community Land is land vested in control of Council for the use by the community. The use and management of Community Land is managed through a Plan of Management. The relevant section of the Local Government Act 1993 that deals with land classification is Chapter 6, Part 2.

What is the Brookvale Park Plan of Management?

The Brookvale Park Plan of Management provides the basis for managing the Park and the Oval within it. A copy of the existing Plan of Management can be found in the library section of the website. A new plan of management is currently being prepared to guide future development at the Park and will be placed on exhibition before being finalised.

What parts of Brookvale Park are categorised as 'Sportsground' and what parts are categorised as 'Park' and what is the difference?

In accordance with the Local Government Act 1993, the ‘Community Land’ at Brookvale Park has been divided up into three sections and each section has been categorised as ‘Sportsground’, ‘Park’ or ‘General Community Use’. Definitions of these categories and a map showing the different sections and categorisations of Brookvale Park are in the library section of the website.

Who exactly are the Sea Eagles? Isn't it a private company ?

The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Limited (’Sea Eagles’) is a Public Company that holds the NRL Licence and participates in the NRL competition (NRL Telstra Premiership), the National Youth Competition for U20's (NYC Toyota Cup) and the NSWRL SG Ball (U18) and Harold Matthews (U16) competitions.

The Sea Eagles use Brookvale Oval under a licence from Warringah Council.

There are four shareholders in the Sea Eagles company, these being the Manly Warringah Rugby League Football Club Limited (’Football Club’), the Manly Warringah Rugby League Club Limited (’Leagues Club’) and the Delmege and Penn families (through their respective nominee companies).

The Football Club is a non-profit, member based community organisation open to any fan.  The Football Club is separate from, and independent of, the Sea Eagles, with its own Board of Directors elected by the Football Club Members.

The Leagues Club is also a member based organisation, operating the Registered Club and licensed premises at 563 Pittwater Road, Brookvale.  Approximately 20,000 community members are Members of the Leagues Club.

The Leagues Club also has its own independent Board of Directors elected by the Leagues Club Members. The Football Club and the Leagues Club together own just over 20 percent of the ordinary shares in the Sea Eagles whilst the Delmege and Penn families own approximately 40 percent each.

The important community and heritage aspects of the Sea Eagles; being the team name, team colours and home ground location, remain solely owned and controlled by the members of the Football Club.

Neither the Sea Eagles, nor the Delmege and Penn families, can make any change to the name of the team (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), the team colours (maroon and white) and the home ground location (Brookvale Oval) without the approval of 75 percent of the members of the Football Club.

What is the difference between capital renewal and maintenance?

The International Infrastructure Manual produced by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia and the Association of Local Government Engineering New Zealand define:

  • Renewal as works to upgrade, refurbish or replace existing facilities with facilities of equivalent capacity or performance capability
  • Maintenance as works necessary to retain an asset to as near as practicable to its original condition, but excluding rehabilitation or renewal.

As such, capital renewal involves major works that renew, refurbish or replace the Oval’s facilities. While, maintenance involves operational expenditure to maintain the Oval’s facilities to as near as possible to their existing condition without renewing or replacing them.

For example, repairing a leaking roof is maintenance, however, if the roof has deteriorated to a point that it is no longer practical to repair and it needs to be replaced, that is capital renewal.

Why has Council allowed the Oval to become as run down as it has?

While the Oval has been well maintained over the years, it has not had significant capital injected into revitalising its facilities. This is because other significant external funding could not be found and Council prioritised their budget in other directions.

Major capital investment over the past 20 years has come in the form of new assets rather than reviewing old ones.  New assets include the construction of the Ken Arthurson Stand in 1994, the electronic scoreboard in 2004, and the floodlights in 2006.  While Council has not specifically invested in capital renewal of the Oval until recently, the Sea Eagles have been a strong advocate in helping to source and secure grant funding for various projects.

Council received a State Government grant to revitalise the Oval, so why will additional funds be needed in the future?

The grant funds received from the State Government ($6 million) combined with the capital committed by Council ($4million) will ensure the Oval's medium term viability as a National Rugby League ground.

In the long term though, in order to remain at a standard suitable for professional sport, the Oval will require significant upgrading to accommodate better access and other fit for purpose facilities. This will require significantly more money than has been committed. The purpose of this community consultation process is to determine how Council should plan for this type of expenditure in the future.

More capital renewal works will be required as the existing facilities age further and require ongoing renewal.

How much funding is needed each year for maintenance and capital renewal works at the Oval over the long term?

To keep the Oval at the current standard, $440 000 is needed each year for the next ten years to fund maintenance and capital renewal works. If the Oval is to be expanded or upgraded, significantly more funding will be required.

What has been done in the last ten years?

Since 2000 most efforts have been focused on upgrading the park area of Brookvale Park as per the actions recommended by the Brookvale Park Plan of Management that was adopted in 2002.  The final stage of these upgrade works were completed last financial year, and includes the new shared path along the southern (Pittwater Road) edge.

Capital works on the Oval's facilities have been minimal.  The Sea Eagles have been active in helping to source and secure grant funding for various projects.  These have included upgrades to corporate seating in the Jane Try Stand and a new scoreboard (jointly funded by Council and a State Government grant), new flood lighting via a Federal Government grant and the $6 million revitalisation funding (a State Government grant, to which Council matched $4 million).

What is the $10 million grant funding being spent on?

The aim of the current revitalisation works is to improve accessibility and comfort of the facilities for users and to develop a more modern, fit for purpose regional sportsground that will be attractive to a range of users.  Works include replacement of the roofs to the three grandstands, concrete cancer repairs, installation of energy and water saving devices and general renewal works to upgrade the facilities to better comply with legislative requirements.

Why is Council licensing Brookvale Oval for exclusive use by the Sea Eagles?

The Sea Eagles do not have an exclusive lease or licence over Brookvale Oval.  The Sea Eagles are a licencee of the Oval, which they can use for a limited number of events each year.  To allow time for set up and clean up after each game, their licence provides access to the Oval for a period before and a period after each game day.  However, only on game days do the Sea Eagles have "exclusive use". During the bump-in and bump-out periods, the Sea Eagles have shared access to the Oval's facilities with the community.

Outside of this time and when essential maintenance works are not happening (e.g. mowing, fertilising, cleaning etc) the Oval and its facilities are available for hire or license to any other groups or individuals.  Access to the playing surface itself is available for public recreation during the day free of charge.

What is the process to book the Oval’s facilities?

Council's reserve booking officer can be contacted on 9942 2646 with information to be found at

How long is the current licence with the Sea Eagles?

The Sea Eagles signed a five year licence in December 2009 and it extends to the end of the 2013 NRL season.

What is the difference between a licence and a lease ?

A lease grants exclusive use of community land to the lessee.  By comparison, a licence grants exclusive use only for a certain number of events, but not the days in between them.

The Sea Eagles hold a license for 12 events a year at Brookvale Oval.

An aerial photo showing what the Sea Eagles license covers is in the library section of the website.

How much do the Sea Eagles pay for their licence each year?

Approximately $350,000

How do other local Council’s fund the maintenance of their Ovals? Leichhardt Oval, Kogarah Oval etc

Most other Councils with NRL grounds under their care and control attempt to fund maintenance through the licence fees of the rugby league team. Additional income is sought from other users, but other sources of income for these types of facilities are finite. 

How much does it cost to maintain the Oval each year?

Approximately $350,000 to maintain existing facilities

Why does it cost so much to maintain the Oval?

General repairs, mitigating the effects of weathering on the site, maintenance of the field itself, ensuring fire safety and compliance, ensuring all the fixed infrastructure is safe and utility costs all contribute to the annual maintenance cost. These costs are not greatly affected by the use of the site and they occur because the site exists in the first place. Clean up costs, security, utility costs etc that occur during the period of time that the ground is licensed to the Sea Eagles are paid for by the Sea Eagles.

Who is Straight Talk and why are they involved in the project?

Straight Talk is a small Sydney-based consultancy that specialises in best practice community engagement.   In August 2009, Council resolved to undertake:

A comprehensive community consultation process to ascertain the community’s preferences for future options for Brookvale Oval – facilitated by an accredited and suitably experienced public participation consultant – in 2010.

In 2009 Council managed an open tender process to engage a professional public participation consultant.  Fourteen responses were received and Straight Talk was selected to design and lead the community engagement process with the aim of ensuring it is inclusive, accessible, balanced and provides opportunities for the broadest possible community input to the future of the Park.

How many options for the future of the Park are being considered?

Council has investigated a number of options over the past 10-15 years without any being adopted. The deterrent to any future development is a lack of certainty over what direction the Warringah community would like to take for the future of Brookvale Oval, hence the commencement of this community consultation process.

This consultation process is a key part of Council’s decision making process to determine what direction to plan for in the future. A number of options are now being considered and broad brush feasibility and costing studies are being undertaken to determine their viability.  Once Council has made a decision on the broad direction for the Park, detailed feasibility and planning studies will be commissioned and further consultation will be undertaken with the community.

Why didn’t Council apply for Federal Government funding under the Regional Development and Community Infrastructure Program?

The Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program was announced by Federal Government in late 2008 as part of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan. It has made more than $1 billion available to local government authorities to build and modernise community infrastructure.