Ms Spielman, in Cockburn last week for the release of new NGAA research, said she believed gaps in community infrastructure could be filled with more local facilities.
‘We need recreation and multi-use facilities where people can do training, small businesses can get support, services can be provided and community groups can meet,’she said.
‘These sorts of facilities are underdone in the growth areas and there are impacts of not having enough facilities and support for communities.’
She said partnerships across all levels of government and the private sector were required to fund these costly projects, with the positives that come with physical exercise and social interaction outweighing any initial cost.
‘It’s all about bringing the basics within reach. We’re not talking about gold plating.’
Curtin University’s sport and recreation research director Marian Tye agreed community infrastructure was important.
‘From both health and social capital perspectives, outer metropolitan growth areas should expect to have at least an equal opportunity to participate in sport and active recreation as those elsewhere,’ she said.
‘These outer suburbs may be areas of affordable housing but living might not be affordable when people have to travel long distances.
‘Without a change to the relevant planning policies and without the State Government stepping in to provide additional active open space, this shortage can only get worse.’