Federal delay on Willetton Basketball Stadium expansion

LONG discussed plans to expand the Willetton Basketball Stadium were brought forward at the City of Canning’s most recent council meeting.

It was the first opportunity for the new councillors, some of whom supported funding as part of their campaigns for office, were publically briefed on the $15 million plan, of which $3.25 million is sought from the City.

Councillors resolved for an ongoing feasibility assessment into the project, which would include extensive renovations and building additional courts.

Willetton Basketball Association (WBA) president Phil Nixon said he was satisfied with the progress the new council had made and was looking forward to the prospect of the build going ahead.

“It was a very soft outcome, but we are satisfied with it,” he said.

“We are a bit impatient to see things happen, but with a delay in federal funding the pressure has been taken off the council.”

Mr Nixon empathised with the inexperienced councillors and urged directors to work collaboratively with the WBA to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.

“We are ready, willing and eager and we have told the council we are keen to work with them, we will muster up expertise to address anything they need to know,” he said.

WBA has been based at the City of Canning-owned Burrendah Road facilities since 1974, where it operated on bitumen courts. In 1985, the WBA built its current stadium using a loan from the City, which has been repaid.

The stadium operates seven days a week, has a membership base of 3443 and, according to Mr Nixon, is at bursting point with a waiting list of 92 juniors. “We want to provide young people who want to play basketball the opportunity to do so,” he said.

Mayor Paul Ng echoed chief executive Lynn Russell’s recommendations and committed to continuing the assessment.