Georges River Council tackles Jubilee Stadium naming rights claims

The Jubilee Stadium naming rights contract with Netstrata remains unchanged and in place, Georges River Council has said.
The Jubilee Stadium naming rights contract with Netstrata remains unchanged and in place, Georges River Council has said.

Georges River Council defended its Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for the sponsor naming rights of Jubilee Stadium.

This follows an extraordinary general meeting held last night to examine the EOI process.

The council will also call on ICAC, the Office of Local Government and the NSW Ombudsman to commence an investigation into the apparent unlawful disclosure of confidential information on the stadium EOI process.

Georges River Council named local strata management company Network Strata Services Pty Ltd, known as Netstrata, as the naming rights sponsor for Jubilee Stadium on January 31.

But businessman Norman Sarraf said he did not submit a bid but had been led to believe that the council would not accept his expression of interest  based on an earlier decision of the council to refuse his offer of sponsorship.

This ealier decision took into acount that Mr Sarraf was a "proponent" for a dual occupancy of a development for an emloyee and this was deemed to have been a potential conflcit of interest.

Mr Sarraf complained the council's acceptance of two bidders for the naming rights of Jubilee Stadium. He felt they could not have passed the same risk assessment as his sponsorship offer underwent for the Starlgiht Cinema and Night Markets.

Following Mr Sarraf’s complaint, Councillors Con Hindi, Vince Badalati and Rita Kastanias asked the mayor for Monday's extraordinary general meeting.

Mr Sarraf who is one the NSW Corporate Partners for Camp Quality, the children’s cancer charity, said he wanted to name Jubilee as Camp Quality Stadium.

Mr Sarraf said he is not a developer and that the council’s decision was based on a development application for a dual occupancy that was lodged by his brother, who works for Sarraf Strata. He said that this DA was approved two years ago.

Mr Sarraf said when he found he was not on the shortlist, he rang the council for an explanation and was blocked from contact the councillors. The council has denied this.

He said he wrote to the council council asking to be advised when the EOI was sent out but was not contacted.

The council said that in response to a request in March 2018, Mr Sarraf was advised the same day that the EOI process was going to the council meeting on 26 March, 2018.

“The contract with Netstrata remains unchanged and in place,” the council said in its statement today.

“ Council is proud of this commercial arrangement with a well-known respected local business.

“Council strongly refutes any claim that Mr Norman Sarraf, Sarraf Strata and/or Camp Quality were excluded from the EOI process.

“Despite being fully aware of the relevant EOI requirements, Mr Sarraf chose not to participate in the EOI for naming rights.

“Through the public EOI process, Council is satisfied that it obtained the best commercial outcome for the community in the current market.”

Following last night’s extraordinary meeting the council resolved to:

(a) Receive and note the confidential legal advice.

b) Advise Mr Sarraf that Council denies his claims about the EOI process.

(c) Notify all relevant external parties, including government agencies and the media, that Council’s EOI process complied with all applicable legislation.

(d) Immediately request ICAC, the Office of Local Government and the NSW Ombudsman to commence an investigation into the apparent unlawful disclosure of confidential information.

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