Federal Election 2019: Cockburn basketballers still waiting for funding commitment

stock image.
stock image.

COCKBURN basketballers are hoping the winner of this month’s Federal Election will send $15m their way to help build them a new home.

As part of the Growth Areas Peel and Perth (GAPP) campaign, the City of Cockburn and Cockburn Basketball Association (CBA) have been lobbying for $15m in federal funding to help them build a new six-court multipurpose indoor sport stadium in Hamilton Hill to replace the Cockburn Cougar’s ageing home, Wally Hagan Stadium.

The $30m project is also expected to incorporate other sporting codes with the development of an AFL-size oval, two new rectangular playing fields, bike pump track, skate park and outdoor lighting.

On May 1, Labor announced an $18m funding commitment to redeveloping Ray Owen Sports Centre in Lesmurdie, the home court of fellow State Basketball League team the Kalamunda Eastern Suns, but CBA general manager Tyrone Thwaites said no commitments had come Cockburn’s way yet.

“This community has been crying out for a new facility since the turn of the century and so far, if not for the City of Cockburn, it has been full of Government inaction,” he said.

“Kalamunda just received an $18m boost via a commitment to their basketball and football facilities, South Perth have just had millions of dollars committed to a brand new eight-court indoor facility, Willetton is about to double it’s court space thanks to the current Federal Government, Rockingham has brand new flooring courtesy of the State Government, but Wally Hagan remains off the State and Federal Government’s agenda at present.

“Without federal funding, the local community will not have access to the facilities they deserve.”

Fremantle MP and Labor candidate Josh Wilson, who last week pledged $75,000 to teams using the Beeliar Community Centre and Oval if his party won the election, said he supported upgrade plans to Wally Hagan.

“I’ve played competitive basketball at Wally Hagan and it is certainly time to expand and modernise that facility,” he said.

“The rapid growth in Cockburn has generated a matching demand for appropriate high-quality sports and community facilities.

“In Fremantle there are twin challenge to revitalise the Fremantle Oval precinct and to upgrade East Fremantle Oval, both projects will deliver better sporting and broader community outcomes, and I am happy to work with the local councils as their plans are developed.”

Liberal candidate Nicole Robins said she understood the push for enhanced sporting facilities in the population growth suburbs of Hamilton Hill, Coogee, Spearwood and Munster.

“The Coalition has always kept an open mind about such initiatives and if elected, I would be delighted to raise this initiative in Canberra,” she said.

“From our many tennis courts, parks, reserves and playgrounds to the golf clubs and the magnificent new Cockburn ARC, the Fremantle electorate is very lucky to have great sporting and recreational facilities and they all help bring the community together.

“A re-elected Coalition government will continue to support strong community-building initiatives in the areas of sports and recreation.”

 

What other candidates said

Jesse Hutchinson (Greens):

“That basketball stadium is brilliant and hosts a very engaged grassroots-led basketball league, with lots of people in the community involved in playing and coaching,” he said.

“Government has a responsibility to ensure equitable access to affordable sport and physical recreation facilities and services and we need to support Local Government to provide accessible, well-resourced and safe sporting and physical recreation facilities to the community.

“I think the key thing that we can be doing in Fremantle (electorate) is addressing the barriers people face to getting involved in community activities like sport or exercise.”

Sam Wainwright (Socialist Alliance):

“Fremantle has both the challenge of maintaining and renovating a lot of aging infrastructure and reinventing that infrastructure to cater to shifting trends in sport,” he said.

“Basketball is a growing sport in that has traditionally been underfunded compared to longer established sports and it’s facilities are actually relatively low cost.

“Given the population growth in the area, a quality regional facility to complement the upgraded netball facilities on High St would be very welcome.”