The Coalition today released details of a sport and recreation athletics initiative designed to give Western Australian athletes two state-of-the-art facilities during the next term of government.
Premier Richard Court and Sport and Recreation Minister Norman Moore joined young athletes at a Little Athletics carnival at McGillivray Oval this morning to announce that almost $9 million would be spent on the facilities.
Mr Moore said the State Government had put a proposal to the Town of Cambridge, which would see concerns about the future of athletics at Perry Lakes resolved.
Mr Moore said Perry Lakes Stadium, built for the Empire Games in 1962, would require extensive renovation in the next term of government if it was to remain as Western Australia’s major athletics facility.
“The proposal we have put to the Town of Cambridge involves two scenarios,” he said.
“If Cambridge proceeds with the demolition of the Perry Lakes sporting precinct to allow for residential development, then we propose that the Town of Cambridge and the State Government equally share the cost of building new facilities for athletics, basketball and rugby union.
“This would see a new athletics stadium built by the State Government on a site that is still to be determined, and the Town of Cambridge build a new basketball centre and rugby facility within its boundaries.
“In the event that the council does not proceed with the residential development, then we propose the State Government will, subject to agreement with the Town of Cambridge, refurbish the existing Perry Lakes Athletics Stadium and Basketball Centre.
“We estimate that the cost of a new athletics stadium would be approximately $8 million, which is comparable to the cost of refurbishing the athletics and basketball facilities at Perry Lakes.”
Mr Moore said that if a decision was taken to build a new stadium, discussions relating to the site and maintenance of the stadium would be held with Curtin University and the University of Western Australia, both of which in the past had expressed interest in being involved with the facility.
The Premier said that a second athletics facility would be built as part of the Arena complex in Joondalup.
The WA Sports Centre Trust, which managed the Arena, had negotiated with the adjacent Baptist College to sell a parcel of land to allow the college to expand.
“The proceeds of the sale will be used to build a synthetic athletics track adjacent to the Arena Aquatic Centre, as well as extending the access road through to Moore Drive,” Mr Court said.
“The eight-lane track, with a 10-lane straight will be built on the existing grass athletics field adjacent to the newly-constructed aquatic centre and will cater for both track and field training and competition.
“The Coalition is very keen to see our young people participate in all types of sports and these new facilities will provide some of the encouragement they may need.
“Certainly, the Sydney Olympics showcased the sport of athletics and they will no doubt be a catalyst for additional participation by young people in the sport.
“We want to ensure that the facilities available to up-and-coming athletes are world-class.”
Mr Moore also said the State Government had also started discussions with the City of Canning on the future upgrading of Coker Park, the only other venue in the metropolitan area with a synthetic athletics track.
“Once we know if and where a new athletics stadium is to be built, then we can assess the future of Coker Park in the context of the requirements of the southern suburbs,” he said.
Justine Whittome, Premier’s office, 9222 9475,
Hartley Joynt, Minister Moore’s office, 9321 1444.