Willetton Basketball Stadium expansion in jeopardy

A PLANNED $11 million expansion of Willetton Basketball Stadium could be in jeopardy after the State Government committed just $1.5m.

The Federal Government promised to cover half the project cost, leaving the Willetton Basketball Association to seek $2.25m from the State.

A spokesman for the Department of Sport and Recreation said the Community Sporting and Recreational Facilities Fund (CSRFF) was an extremely competitive funding program.

“The maximum grant available under the CSRFF program was $2m. Willetton Basketball Club received the equal largest grant in the funding round of $1.5m,” he said.

However, Phil Nixon from the association said the announcement meant it could not commit to the project, given there was a shortfall of $750,000.

“The WA Government was aware the costs of the project had been stripped back to essential features and anything less than the $2 million we sought will lessen our ability to deliver the expansion,” Mr Nixon said.

The association’s board would review its options and was keen to make the expansion a reality.

“It has taken us nine years to raise our $800,000 towards the project value, so we have limited capacity to find any extra funds required to meet the shortfall we now face,” Mr Nixon said.

Acting Prime Minister Mathias Cormann visited the Stadium at Tangney MHR Ben Morton’s request recently.

Mr Morton expressed his disappointment in the CSRFF funding announcement on his Facebook page and committed to help the association get the project done.

“I am really quite disappointed in the State Government,” he said.

“I fought really hard for the Federal Government to fund 50 per cent of the total project cost.

“The council has done the right thing with its funding and the local association has done great with its fundraising.

“Two million from the State Government would have made this project a reality.”