Centre finally named


An artist’s impression of the Cockburn ARC, being developed at Cockburn Central West.
An artist’s impression of the Cockburn ARC, being developed at Cockburn Central West.

THE $109 million recreation centre being built at Cockburn Central West finally has a name: Cockburn ARC (Aquatic and Recreation Centre).

Cockburn councillors signed off on the name at a special council meeting on Thursday night, but not before a late dose of drama.

The recommendation put to councillors was to back Cockburn ARC as the name of the facility, following a poll of 1194 residents.

Of the residents surveyed, 52 per cent chose ARC as the preferred name.

That was despite the alternative choice, STAR (Sports, Training, Aquatic and Recreation) Centre Cockburn, being more popular in three of the four age categories measured.

With the report put to councillors providing only the age breakdowns as a percentage, councillors Lee-Anne Smith and Kevin Allen questioned whether the same amount of people in each age group were polled.

The data was not available but Cockburn corporate communications manager Sam Seymour-Eyles said ReachTEL’s sample of random residents was comparable to the ABS data of the area.

The name and a funding request to develop a style guide was then voted down because an absolute majority could not be secured, with Cr Smith suggesting more public consultation and Cr Bart Houwen putting forward that a branding expert pick the name.

Chief executive Stephen Cain said that would take the decision away from the council.

But after years of working towards a sufficient name, Cr Houwen said: “Council can’t make a decision.”

In the end councillors dropped point two of the original recommendation, a request for $32,300 to develop a style guide, and backed ARC as the name.

Without the funding request, a simple majority could be used to pass the name.

The decision brought to an end more than 24 months of research and debate.

That included work by council staff and a brand professional, focus groups in December, and a community survey in February/March.

Councillors extended the challenge further by rejecting Cockburn ARC as the facility’s name in mid-April.

On April 14 the council resolved to defer naming the facility so it could poll residents over Cockburn ARC and Star Centre Cockburn.

Sixty-three per cent of 18-34-year-olds voted for the City’s selection.

“As the aquatic centre will rely on a high proportion of younger persons for its patronage, it’s important that the name appeal to this age group,” Ms Seymour-Eyles said.

With funding dropped, the style guide will now be done in-house, with any monetary requirements to come back to council.

Ms Seymour-Eyles said having a name would enable the City’s marketing team to get to work determining a logo, colours and other style matters to give the facility its “unique identity”.

She said recent surveys had helped generate considerable interest in the facility and overcome the perception it was a Fremantle Football Club facility.

The Dockers will move there, but will name their quarters separately.

The facility is scheduled to open in April.

Poll breakdown (1194 residents surveyed).

Cockburn ARC (Aquatic and Recreation Centre) secured 52 per cent of the total vote, females 49 per cent, males 55 per cent, 18-34 year-olds 63 per cent, 35-50 year-olds 48 per cent, 51-65 year-olds 46 per cent, people 65 and over 43 per cent.

Star Centre Cockburn (Sports, Training, Aquatic and Recreation) secured 48 per cent of the total vote, females 51 per cent, males 45 per cent, 18-34 year-olds 37 per cent, 35-50 year-olds 52 per cent, 51-65 year-olds 54 per cent, people 65 and over 57 per cent.

Importance of a logo:

It took more than two years to choose a name for the future recreation centre at Cockburn Central West, but H Factor business consultant Andrew Seinor says a good logo will be more important.

With Cockburn ARC due to be finished by next April, Mr Seinor said the logo was important to nail down soon so the City of Cockburn can begin marketing the facility.

“A name is important but it isn’t make or break,” he said.

“With Perth Arena, the name is a statement of what it is. It doesn’t really have any emotional connection to it.

“A logo helps establish a connection with the community and explain what the facility stands for.

“It’s how the City can create a community story people can associate with, especially over time.”