15/06/2020 - 12:18

WA sport gets govt boost

15/06/2020 - 12:18

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Plans to build a $32.5 million soccer centre in Queens Park are under way, with the project jointly funded by the state and federal governments, while Western Australian sports associations will benefit from a revised infrastructure funding model.

WA sport gets govt boost
Mick Murray says soccer is the most popular team-based competitive sport in the state. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Plans to build a $32.5 million soccer centre in Queens Park are under way, with the project jointly funded by the state and federal governments, while Western Australian sports associations will benefit from a revised infrastructure funding model.

The State Football Centre project, announced by Premier Mark McGowan yesterday, will accommodate all levels of the game, from grassroots community programs to elite training for Football West’s administration facilities.

The centre will include training facilities, change rooms and a gym, as well as two pitches and capacity for up to 700 match-day spectators, with an option to expand to 4,000 temporary seats for special events.

Training camps for national and international teams will also be available at the centre, with the state and federal governments each committing $16.25 million towards the project.

Mr McGowan said soccer had been without a home for too long in WA.

“When complete, this centre will help develop WA’s next stars of the game, like Trent Sainsbury or Sam Kerr,” the premier said.

“We look forward to collaborating with Football West, the federal government and the City of Canning to get this project under way as soon as possible, to help support WA local jobs and the COVID-19 economic recovery.”

Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray said soccer was the most popular team-based competitive sport in the state, with participant numbers having grown by more than 45 per cent since 2006.

“This is a great initiative for football in WA and will help inspire our next generation of talent,” he said.

“The State Football Centre is a project that has been spoken of for decades and finally it is becoming a reality.

"Football West has been advocating for investment in administrative and training headquarters to support this growth which the McGowan government is pleased to support."

The centre will be built by mid-2023, in time for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

A project definition plan is under way and will be completed before design planning begins.

The state government has also switched to a three-year sporting infrastructure funding model, under which $4.65 million will go towards infrastructure spending compared with the usual $2 million per year.

The funding will be provided to State Sporting Associations (SSAs), including the Eight Ball Federation’s facility in Queens Park, to help cover maintenance costs for sporting grounds and buildings, as well as capital projects and energy and water initiatives.

Mr Murray said the extra funding would benefit SSAs that had to close their venues due to COVID-19.

"It will also help kickstart the economy by providing work for the construction and trades industries, as well as the professional services sector as soon as possible,” he said.

"This approach to allocate funding over a three-year period will reduce the administrative burden on SSAs and it is more suitable for planning and delivering larger capital projects."

Other SSAs to benefit from the initiative include Hockey WA, Baseball WA and Whiteman Park International Shooting Complex.

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