Eagles make their move

Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughn, Perth Demons president Vince Pendal and West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett. Picture: Elle Borgward d425665
Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughn, Perth Demons president Vince Pendal and West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett. Picture: Elle Borgward d425665

The AFL club and the Town signed a 50-year lease, with an option to re-sign for another 49 years, at the Perth Demons’ home ground last Wednesday.

Mr Barnett said the Lathlain Park development was primarily an Eagles training facility and as such the quantity of money would be far smaller than the $10 million provided to the City of Cockburn for its new Cockburn Aquatic and Sports Complex that will also be the training base for Fremantle Football Club.

But at the lease signing, West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett said he was hoping for a bigger commitment from the State Government ‘sooner, rather than later’.

He said the Eagles had provided $22 million, including $4.5 million from the AFL, and the club continued to source funds.

Mr Barnett said the Town of Victoria Park had approached the State Government on the same basis as the City of Cockburn.

‘It’s a smaller project and the community facilities are more limited but in principle we will support Victoria Park and some of the public facilities,’ he said.

‘We won’t be funding the Dockers and we won’t be funding the Eagles.’

Late last week, the Premier told the Gazette ‘any decision on timing of such a contribution would be made by Cabinet as part of normal Budget deliberations’.

Nisbett said the club had known since its initial approach for State Government funding was rejected that it needed to do a lot more work on its business plan, which did not focus strongly enough on the community and socio-economic benefits.

‘We have also been told that the State Government would not directly contribute to the club’s facilities, but we believe we can build a compelling case, in conjunction with the Town of Victoria Park, around the community benefits of the Lathlain Park development,’ Nisbett said.

‘We also have not received any indication from the Federal Government around the prospect of funding. The signing of the lease agreement was a major milestone, but we know there is still a lot of work to be done.’