Sporting facilities on the forefront

Sporting facilities on the forefront

Councillors, mayors and parliamentary members from 11 council districts have come together to lobby the Federal Government to support sporting grounds in outer metro areas. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A lack of major sport and recreation facilities in Perth’s fast-growing outer suburbs has seen 11 local governments including Armadale, Canning, Gosnells and Serpentine-Jarrahdale unify to lobby the Federal Government for

at least $350 million in special purpose funding.

The lobby group has been named Growth Areas and Perth and Peel and was aimed at matching the rapid growth of outer metropolitan communities with high-quality sporting facilities.

Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said access to sporting and recreation facilities was more than just an issue of fitness but showed marked disadvantage compared to inner metro areas.

“Due to a lack of sporting facilities many of our communities are entrenched into a pattern of disadvantage and denied the access to public open space and sporting facilities,” he said.

“Residents are then further disadvantaged with higher rates of obesity and a range of other lifestyle issues and associated risks.”

City of Wanneroo mayor Tracy Roberts said the project would not only fight rising obesity levels, but also give children growing up in outer metropolitan suburbs the same opportunities as those in council areas with more funding and support, and help them fulfil their sporting dreams.

“Seventy-five per cent of Perth’s population growth is occurring in the outer metropolitan communities and yet these communities have very few major sports facilities,” she said.

“We have lots of land identified on government plans that is waiting to be turned into high quality sports facilities.

“We want our residents to have the same opportunities as everyone else to become Olympic champions.

“There are too many district sports facility projects that have sat on plans for years, such as the Canning Vale Regional Sports Complex and the Armadale Regional Recreation Reserve.

“Many other precincts lack key facilities such as the Ellenbrook Indoor Leisure Centre.

“A lack of funding will doom them for years to come to remain just blueprints. That is why we have come together to advocate for change.”

The group plans to lobby the Federal Government to allocate $350 million for the special purpose account in order to leverage a complementary investment of $700 million from the State Government, local government and development contribution schemes.

The funds would then be used to transform these suburbs into more liveable communities by building 12 major sporting precincts in the involved local government councils of Armadale, Canning, Cockburn, Gosnells, Kalamunda, Kwinana, Mandurah, Rockingham, Swan, Wanneroo and the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale.

With a cap of $30 million for any individual project there will be sufficient funds to build the precincts over the next six years according to the group.