WILLETTON Basketball Association’s expansion plans could get an injection of $5.5 million if Tangney MHR Ben Morton gets what he wants.
This month Mr Morton wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seeking support for a Federal Government funding commitment of $5.5 million to the program, up from the $3.5 million originally sought from the Commonwealth before the State Election.
In the letter to Mr Turnbull, Mr Morton asked for funds to be allocated to allow construction of the $10.5 million project to begin as soon as possible.
“This project is so important for my local community,” Mr Morton said in his letter.
“Currently more than 150 young people in my region are on the waiting list unable to participate in weekly team sport due to the limitations of existing infrastructure.”
The association plans to double its stadium from four indoor courts to eight and build expanded infrastructure, including change rooms, meeting rooms, a hall, offices and space for supporting health services such as physiotherapists.
Club president Phil Nixon said he was pleased Mr Morton had sought Federal Government funding for the project.
He said the club had raised nearly $800,000 towards the project and the City of Canning had offered to contribute $2.25 million subject to the project receiving funding.
“We have been officially pursuing this project since 2003, so it has been an exercise in patience and persistence,” Mr Nixon said.
He said the State Government had told the club it was unable to make a commitment to the project until it had reviewed the State’s finances.
Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray said the State Government’s Community Sporting Recreation and Facilities Fund (CSRFF) was a competitive funding program that could provide up to one third of a project’s costs, with a maximum grant of $2 million.
“There is currently $12 million available annually through the CSRFF program,” he said.
He said the Department of Sport and Recreation was able to assist clubs with funding submission preparation.
“When State Labor was last in government, Willetton Basketball Association received a grant of $258,091 in the 2007-08 CSRFF funding round for the upgrade of amenities at the Willetton Basketball Stadium, including the change rooms and meeting space,” he said.