A NUMBER of community members have shared their confusion and concern about what the Town of Victoria Park’s decision tonight regarding a synthetic turf facility at Harold Rossiter Reserve will actually mean.
Following the completion of a business case that detailed the options of building the facility at the reserve, the council will tonight vote on recommendations to investigate alternative locations and potentially put aside $2.57 million for it in the council’s draft long-term financial plan.
The facility would cater for Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club, which wants a synthetic turf facility like many other hockey clubs in Perth but cannot build one at their current home at Fletcher Park.
The Southern Gazette previously reported on a group of residents who have formed the Harold Rossiter Reserve Community Action Group following concerns that the public has not been informed about the concept and its potential impact on the area.
At the council’s elected members briefing session on July 4, community members voiced their concern about the environmental and social impacts the facility would have.
Parents and people associated with the hockey club expressed the need for the facility, as players were moving to other clubs that have synthetic turf fields.
Harold Rossiter Reserve Community Action Group member and St James resident Kate McNally said she was concerned about global infrastructure engineering consultancy company AECOM’s business case.
“AECOM’s report was a bit odd; they’ve listed options that aren’t really what the community wants,” she said.
“It seems as though other options, other than Harold Rossiter Reserve, are better but with this recommendation it looks as though the reserve will be one step ahead of the other options.”
The costs for a minimal development at the site has been estimated to be about $2.5 million while an optimal development has been slated to cost almost $5.5 million, according to the business case.
Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club president Ryan Willis said he believed the business case was erring on the side of caution.
“It’s better to say something will cost $2 million and it actually comes down to $1.75 million then saying it will cost $1.5 million and it blows to $2 million,” he said.
“We have a quote that is lower than what is in the business case but we understand the council will err on the side of caution and that’s fine.”
Town of Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said council was considering funding for the project in the draft long term financial plan to ensure that if a suitable site was found the project can be progressed.
“At this point in time, the Town is not committing to the project until an appropriate site is found, community engagement undertaken, approvals granted and funding sourced,” he said.
Mr Vaughan said capital works costs were estimated by AECOM’s cost management team.
“These should be treated as high level estimates at this stage. More detailed costing will be undertaken after a detailed design has been developed,” he said.
“The Town is committed to exploring all options, in order to identify a solution that meets the needs of all involved.”