Pitch for greatness


Matt Bird, Lee Abbott
Andrew Robertson from the Fremantle Hockey Club with Rob Avard  from the City of Cockburn and WA Hockey’s Peter Churack. Picture: Matt Jelonek        d451193
Matt Bird, Lee Abbott Andrew Robertson from the Fremantle Hockey Club with Rob Avard from the City of Cockburn and WA Hockey’s Peter Churack. Picture: Matt Jelonek        d451193

HOCKEY in Perth’s southern metropolitan region is set for a major boost, with plans to build a host of new facilities, including clubrooms and playing pitches in South Lake.

The City of Cockburn and Fremantle Hockey Club (FHC) will work with Hockey WA, the City of Gosnells and Southern River Hockey Club to lodge a joint National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) application to help finance the Hockey WA Facilities Project.

Part of that proposal is new clubrooms and playing facilities at Lakelands Reserve in South Lake next to Lakeland Senior High School to service the southwest corridor. The project will cost about $6.5m but Cockburn will pay about half of that, with the Federal Government offering to match the contribution under the NSRF.

The FHC will also make a contribution of $500,000.

The club currently has only has one-third of that amount at its disposal.

Another part of the project involves the development of a synthetic pitch and supporting infrastructure at Sutherland’s Reserve in Huntingdale to service the southeast corridor.

This aspect, backed by the City of Gosnells and Southern River Hockey Club, will cost about $2.6m.

Perth Hockey Stadium in Bentley will also receive upgrades to help cater to the hockey community in the central and eastern catchment areas.

Cockburn recreation and community safety manager Rob Avard said the proposal would lift the profile and participation of hockey and address disadvantages in the southern metropolitan region.

“The existing distribution of synthetic hockey turfs are mostly located in the economically advantaged areas of Perth, on State Government and university-controlled sporting facilities, and on a small number of elite private boys schools,” he said.

“The least advantaged regions are underserviced and have no facilities, as identified in the Hockey WA State Sporting Strategic Facilities Plan 2009 to 2025.”

On Thursday, Cockburn councillors backed a report by Mr Avard suggesting it apply for NSRF support, contribute $3.5m towards the clubrooms at Lakelands Reserve and support the FHC’s move south.

An announcement on NSRF grant funding is expected in July.

The idea of a new facility in South Lake has been floated for a decade, but has gained significant traction in the last few years.

In October 2013, a report was presented to council proposing the FHC, which has been based at Fremantle’s Steven’s Reserve for 80 years, relocate to South Lake.

The decision was deferred, with the time since used by Cockburn Council, the FHC, the Department of Education and Department of Sport and Recreation to develop a plan for the build.

After eight decades at its original base, a spokesman for the club told Thursday’s Cockburn Council meeting it was time for a move.

“To meet our aspirations quite simply we need a synthetic turf and proper facilities for us to operate,” he said.

Hockey WA vice president Martin Spenceralso spoke in favour of the move on Thursday.