24/03/2011 - 00:00

Footy teams wait for a new home

24/03/2011 - 00:00


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PERTH football fans had reason to celebrate in December when the state government announced it had finalised its plans for a new stadium.

PERTH football fans had reason to celebrate in December when the state government announced it had finalised its plans for a new stadium.

It is a pity, though, at least for the many thousands of AFL supporters here in the west, that Sports and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron was referring to the development of a boutique rectangular arena at nib Stadium.

The state government allocated $88 million for the first stage of redevelopment at nib, formerly known as Perth Oval, which will ultimately become a 25,000-seat rectangular venue delivered in two stages.

The first stage will provide new seating for about 10,000 spectators and will focus on providing amenity for the general viewing public, Mr Waldron said.

The rectangular stadium announcement capped off a solid year for the sport of rugby, with construction starting on a new $10 million facility at AK Reserve in April.

Rugby WA’s headquarters, which is being constructed by Esslemont, will include administration space and indoor training facilities, including a gymnasium space.

It will sit alongside the $40 million WA Basketball Centre, which replaced the antiquated Perry Lakes stadium in January last year, and the $33.4 million WA Athletics Stadium, which was opened in May 2009.

Netball also received a shot in the arm, with the announcement in May that the state had allocated $26 million for the construction of a new State Netball Centre.

The new facility will include four indoor netball courts and office space for Netball WA at the Matthews Netball Centre in Floreat.

The state government reacted to the loss of the Perth round of the V8 Supercars Championship Series by committing $10.5 million for facilities upgrades at Barbagallo over two years.

The first stage of works addressed the safety issues with the track and pits that led to the sport’s governing body dropping the WA leg from the circuit in 2010, while stage two will provide a new grandstand, corporate and race control facilities, back-of-house services, medical facilities and communications infrastructure.

After a tumultuous 12 months where its cost blew out to $536 million, and after its construction process copped a scathing report from Auditor General Colin Murphy, all has been quiet on the Perth Arena front, which seems to be progressing to be ready to open in April next year.

But when talking Perth’s sporting infrastructure, the gigantic elephant in the room is undoubtedly the much-debated multi-purpose stadium.

Premier Colin Barnett said last month the government was using the Major Stadia Taskforce Report as its starting point to determine the best option for a multi-purpose stadium.

Mr Barnett said the government did not seek to “reinvent the wheel” in determining the best multi-purpose stadium option, an announcement would be made mid-year regarding its construction, and funding would be allocated in the state budget.

On the community sports side of things, in January, Mr Waldron officially opened the $5.9 million Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre Exhibition Courts.

The facility comprises seven indoor courts catering for basketball, netball, volleyball and indoor soccer and hockey.

During the past 12 months Mr Waldron has also announced $20.7 million in small grants through the Community Sport and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF).

Facilities upgraded through the CSRFF grants program included: the Beatty Park Leisure Centre, which received $2.5 million for its redevelopment; the Roebourne Aquatic Centre, which received $1 million; and the City of Canning, which secured a $2.5 million grant for a multi-purpose community facility.

In November last year, Mr Waldron also announced 31 projects across the state would receive a total of $708,950 under the CSRFF Small Grants Program.



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