Funding question hovers over regional sports hub

Funding question hovers over regional sports hub

Indicative designs of the Regional Basketball and Netball Facility.

A 30-year-old plan to build a regional sports hub including a top-notch indoor basketball and netball centre in Haynes has been given legs this week.

The idea of an Armadale Regional Recreation Reserve (ARRR) has been floated since 1991. Essentially, it’s a multi-stage development that will offer high quality grounds and infrastructure for a range of regional-level and competition-level sports.

The ARRR will serve as a hub for sports for the cities of Cockburn, Gosnells, Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale and the rapidly-growing City of Armadale

The concept plan also includes space for community gardens, playgrounds, bushland and trails for recreational play.

A 40-hectare parcel of land has been earmarked for the project in the Wungong Urban Development Area, just between Twelfth Rd and Waterworks Rd.

The cost of the entire project was estimated several years ago to be $115 million.

That figure necessitates the project be rolled out in a series of stages. With Stage 1 being a Regional Basketball and Netball Facility (RBNF).

Netball WA and Basketball WA have committed to working with the City of Armadale to develop a sustainable business model for the facility as well as developing a broader community outreach strategy to ensure participation.

Through consultation with these peak bodies, a list of key features for the RBNF was achieved, and includes 20 outdoor netball and basketball courts (including four under cover), eight indoor courts, a gym and group fitness rooms, Allied Health practitioner space, and office, kitchen, café, function space, indoor changerooms and toilets, and carparking.

A business case was finalised this year, and the RNBF was costed at an eye-watering $76 million – an amount well out of range for the City of Armadale.

Obviously, a significant contribution from state and/or federal governments is needed before it gets off the ground.

Previous attempts by the City of Armadale to secure funding for the ARRR – including one in 2019 by former mayor Henry Zelones and the Growth Areas Perth and Peel collective – have fallen on deaf ears.

There are still many hurdles to overcome, however progress is being made.

On Monday, council voted to support the RBNF business case, to continue to advocate for funding, and for City of Armadale officers to get the Regional Basketball and Netball Facility project tender-ready, in line with a 2026 construction date.