State Election 2017: Ashfield to house a $37 million soccer base, if Liberals are re-elected

State Election 2017: Ashfield to house a $37 million soccer base, if Liberals are re-elected

THE State Government has promised $37 million to build the long-awaited State Football Centre at Ashfield Reserve, if re-elected.

Premier Colin Barnett announced today the centre on Guildford Road will consist of a grandstand for up to 4000 spectators, including 700 permanent seats, an administration facility for Football West and an A-League tenant such as Perth Glory.

The project will also include two floodlit playing fields, at least one of which would be a synthetic turf and player amenities including change rooms and a gymnasium.

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Mr Barnett said, as part of the promised $37 million, $4 million will be allocated to the Town of Bassendean to upgrade sporting facilities at Jubilee Reserve.

In October, Football West endorsed a $45m plan to build the soccer centre in Ashfield and has been since negotiating with both sides of politics for a commitment.

Mr Barnett said soccer was the only sport in WA that did not have a dedicated administration and training centre.

“It is a sport that so many people of different cultural backgrounds and who are new to Australia and Western Australia come from, that tradition of playing football – it is after all a world sport,” he said.

Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly said Labor was supportive of the project however the State Government had a “poor track record” delivering on its announcements.

“It is early days, we are not making an announcement today but we will roll them out between now and the election,” he said.

Greens candidate for Bassendean Sarah Quinton said the community deserved the right to see the specific plans for the project that assured people that their use of the green open space was not threatened.

Football West chairman Liam Twigger said the State Football Centre will provide a long-awaited home for football.

Mr Twigger said the community and sporting clubs at Ashfield have been considered in the development plan.

“There is a bit of relocation but a major investment and I am sure that everyone will be looked after,” he said.

“The initial footprint is for two pitches and I think there will be room for everybody but the final details will become clearer in the coming weeks.”

Town of Bassendean Deputy Mayor Mike Lewis said the Town knew little about the project prior to the Premier’s announcement.

“Initially, it is more State level but now the local council gets more involved in it and we will probably have a say on a number of the things that are involved in the project,” he said.

“We will move the Bassendean Caledonians Soccer Club to Ashfield Reserve and we will have two dedicated sport facilities.

“The idea will be that we will demolish the Ashfield Sports Club building and they will move in the new development together with Football West as two individual identities.

“It is still public open space, it is a win-win all around for our local residents.”

Cr Lewis said following the Town’s community survey last year, the community had the opportunity to ask questions about the project at council meetings.