Ashfield: State Football Centre ‘dead’ without commitment from Labor says Bassendean mayor


Ashfield Reserve soccer fields. Picture: David Baylis
Ashfield Reserve soccer fields. Picture: David Baylis

BASSENDEAN Mayor John Gangell declared the State Football Centre proposal at Ashfield Reserve would be “dead” without commitment from the newly-elected Labor Government at last night’s council meeting.

Councillor Gangell said council should advocate major grants and projects and be “apolitical” during an election campaign.

In January, the WA Liberal Party promised $37 million to build the long-awaited State Football Centre if re-elected but Labor did not match the promise during the State Election.

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Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly said Labor had no current plans to fund the project.

“If the project was to go ahead, it will need to be a decision of the new Sport and Recreation Minister,” he said.

“From a personal perspective, there needs to be an awful lot more community consultation before anything like this would go ahead.”

About 70 ratepayers flocked into the Town of Bassendean Community Hall for a special meeting of electors and debated the “transparency issues” surrounding the State Football Centre and Bassendean Activity Centre plans.

Several ratepayers were “disgusted” by the conduct of council’s community consultation processes.

In April 2016, the Town and the Department of Sport and Recreation delivered a survey for the project but according to an officer’s report, the validity of the survey was questioned and results could be skewed by multiple entries.

Ashfield resident Warren Wright’s motion for council to set aside the survey and ensure there would be no future references to this survey in any future decision making was passed.

Cr Bob Brown tore up a copy of the concept plans before stating council should “abandon” the project and establish a working group between the Town and residents to form new plans.

“We measured the Reserve and there was no reason why to lose trees and the training track,” he said.

“It creates a wide buffer between Haig and Fisher streets.”

Ashfield Sports Club president Bill Busby said the Reserve belonged to the community not just the club.

Football West chief executive James Curtis said it had continued dialogue with major political parties during the development of the business case.

“Football remains the only major code without a specific administrative and training base, which would greatly assist in accommodating significant levels of growth,” he said.

“Football West looks forward to working with new Premier Mark McGowan and the State Government in the coming months.”