WHITFORD Hockey Club is on its way to getting a new home ground after an official sod turning on Monday.
Joondalup councillors at last month’s council meeting voted to accept the tender from McCorkell Constructions to build a hockey facility at Warwick Open Space.
The development will include a clubroom facility, one synthetic and two grass hockey pitches with irrigation, landscaping and floodlighting and is expected to be completed within one year from possession of the site.
The City has committed $4.5 million to the project and received a further $1.2 million from the State Government through its Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund, while Whitford Hockey Club is contributing $600,000.
President Len Collier said at the meeting the club had been working with the City for almost nine years to improve its facilities.
“We are therefore pleased to support the recommendation to award the tender for the construction,” he said.
“We are confident a well-managed building program will result in a facility of outstanding quality.
“Standing behind the newly upgraded Warwick Stadium, this area will become a showcase sporting precinct for not only the residents of Joondalup, but for a wide range of sports people living in and visiting Perth.”
He said he was pleased to see the tender come in under budget.
“Consistent feedback from our neighbours at Warwick Open Space is there is a severe lack of parking at peak times and we hope some of these budget savings could be utilised to include the designated future parking areas in the current project scope,” he said.
Cr Russ Fishwick moved an alternate motion to request a review of the project in conjunction with the club to look at using the $634,000 savings to “further enhance the project”.
He said there were items contained in the original proposal that were not part of the tender because of the projected cost exceeding the budget such as additional car parking and floodlighting and a sweeper.
“I’m asking these savings be ploughed back in to the project following consultation with the hockey club,” he said.
Cr Tom McLean expressed concerns with spending the “so-called surplus”.
“It’s not a surplus, we have to borrow for this so if we don’t proceed with the spending of the so-called surplus, we borrow less,” he said.
He said the $634,000 represented about two-thirds of a per cent of rates.
“I think the city and the club have got what they want,” he said.
“I would rather it go towards the overall surplus we may have and potentially reducing the rates on the residents. I don’t want us to get in to the habit of worrying about money burning a hole in our pocket.
“It’s not our money, it’s our ratepayers’ money and I think we should consider that.”
Cr Fishwick’s motion to request a report was passed seven votes to six.