Quinns Amateur Football Club make case for bigger Ridgewood Park facilities


Quinns District Amateur Football Club vice president Brett Wahlert and club president Darren Eiffler with players and coaches. Picture: Martin Kennealey d453098
Quinns District Amateur Football Club vice president Brett Wahlert and club president Darren Eiffler with players and coaches. Picture: Martin Kennealey d453098

SCORES of footballers gave up training to attend Tuesday’s Wanneroo council briefing session.

The April 19 agenda included a report on Quinns Districts Amateur Football Club’s (QDAFC) business case for bigger facilities at Ridgewood Park.

About 70 maroon-and-gold Bulls shirts filled the public gallery as club members supported the bid for upgrades that would include providing a function room.

Briefing councillors ahead of their meeting next Tuesday, the City’s community programs and services manager Shane Spinks said the council agreed to fund a 100sq m extension to the existing building last year.

However, the club’s business case outlined three larger options, including two for a separate building, one planned as a staged development.

Club president Darren Eiffler said the push for bigger facilities started about six years ago, and members were increasingly frustrated by the delays.

Mr Eiffler told the Times it had more than 200 members, with six teams in league, reserves, colts and masters.

“We are growing (yet) we are still sitting under a pergola,” he said.

According to the business case prepared by Kick Starter Consulting, the existing facility contains a canteen, toilets and two change rooms as well as three storage rooms.

“During spring and summer, other sporting organisations use these facilities, including the Quinns Cricket Club, Ridgewood Little Athletics Centre and social soccer,” it said.

“Presently the club is disadvantaged when compared to other amateur football clubs by the lack of social facilities at Ridgewood Park.

“Without social facilities, QDAFC is forced to conduct meetings and club functions at other venues, which is a financial burden.”

The business case said required features of an upgraded facility would include a kitchen, storeroom, ambulant toilet, function room, meeting room, upgraded change room and wet area, and a physiotherapy room.

It outlined expected costs of between $1.055 million for a 270sq m extension to $1.644 million for a 421sq m building, based on the City’s estimated cost of a 100sq m extension.

Mr Spinks said the club proposed a combination of funding sources, including contributions from the City and the club, plus a Community Sports and Recreation Facilities Fund grant from the State Government if an application was successful.

He said it also proposed to use a long-term loan, which prompted concerns of high risk for the club if it was unable to cover the loan in the future.

“The business case does seek to increase project commitment from the City – that’s to assist in reducing risk to the club and also cost burden to the club in respect to the proposed loan,” he said.

Mr Spinks said if the grant application was unsuccessful, the cost to be borne by the club would effectively double.

As well as cost concerns, he said the proposal went against the public open space policy as it would be of a higher standard than prescribed for neighbourhood ovals.

Mr Spinks said it would have an impact on the area due to increased activity and traffic, and was likely to affect surrounding residents.

He said designs for higher order facilities such as the future Butler north district open space had buffer zones to minimise the impact on residents.

“Ridgewood hasn’t been designed with that in mind,” he said.

“The club is growing as a result of their success (and) has outgrown its facility (but) that isn’t a reason to provide facilities above standard for that site.”

Responding to a question about the club providing in-kind contributions, Mr Spinks said it could submit to the tender process with a registered builder.

He said it would need to provide detail about what qualified tradespeople would provided at no cost, and what materials could be provided at cost price.

“They are then competing against other tenders – there’s no guarantee that their tender would be the successful outcome,” he said.

During public question time, club director Peter Hunter asked the council to consider the proposed funding model, which included $355,300 of municipal funds.

Mr Hunter asked, if the club chose to move to the Butler north facility when it was completed in mid-2019, would the City guarantee it could use that facility.

Mr Spinks said while other clubs had also shown an interest in being based there, the City had not yet undertaken an expressions of interest process.

Mr Hunter said the Quinns Districts Junior Football Club had 750 players, many of whom would join the senior club as they got older.

“There are five senior sides at this facility at the moment, training four nights a week,” he said.

Mr Eiffler said he would ask the council to defer from making a decision on the report next week so the club could get more information from the City.

UPDATE: Bulls face longer wait