The $47 million Mills park redevelopment proved larger councils that would have resulted from the failed local government reform could have taken on bigger projects according to Premier Colin Barnett.
Mr Barnett’s comments came as he presented the City of Gosnells with a $4 million lotterywest grant to help fund the redevelopment, which was the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the city.
He said had reform been successful more councils would have been able to deliver large scale projects like the Mills park redevelopment.
“The way sporting and community groups are going is to consolidate, come together and share fantastic community facilities like this instead of using lots of little second rate facilities,” he said.
“It’s a clear demonstration of how a larger council with a bigger revenue base can deliver a really top class facility as well as recreation areas and walking paths, while rejuvenating the bushland and wetland areas.
“Little local parks have their place too but this is going to be a fantastic facility.”
Mr Barnett said the state government had an ongoing commitment to sporting and recreational facilities.
“No other state government in the history of this state has delivered these big facilities like the stadium and the netball centre, while also funding a huge amount of community facilities throughout the metropolitan area,” he said.
The city has previously received $4 million through the community and sport and recreation facilities fund through the state government, though the majority of the project has been funded by the city.
City of Gosnells deputy mayor Ron Mitchell said the redevelopment would create a new sense of place for Beckenham in the same way Elizabeth Quay would transform Perth.
“The jewel in Mills park’s crown is its environmental sustainability,” he said.
“The city is the first local government in Australia to achieve a six star green star public building design rating for the Mills park community centre.
“This rating shows that the City of Gosnells is operating at world’s best practice.”
He said the city had supported local government reform believing it would be the best strategy for Perth because it allowed for council’s to deliver larger projects.
“The city has never resolved to walk away from reform, however, as one of the largest local government in WA the city is pleased it has the capacity to deliver projects as bold and visionary as Mills park,” he said.
City of Gosnells director of infrastructure Dave Harris said the project took five years to plan before work began this year.
Stage one, bounded by Roe Highway, Brixton Street and Bickley Road, was expected to be finished by March next year.
This would include the community facility, skate plaza, nature play space, piazza, tennis courts, land bridge, synthetic soccer pitches and cricket nets.
Stage two would begin in September this year and was due for completion by February 2017.
This would include several sports grounds and change room facilities.
For more information about the Mills park redevelopment visit www.gosnells.wa.gov.au/millspark.
By Amy Blom