EXCLUSIVE: Federal commitment for Perth Demons and new Lathlain Oval grandstand

Perth Demons CEO Marty Atkins, West Coast Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett, Swan MHR Steve Irons, Perth Demons president Daryle Mann, Victoria Park mayor Trevor Vaughan and Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta in front of the old Lathlain grandstand.
Perth Demons CEO Marty Atkins, West Coast Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett, Swan MHR Steve Irons, Perth Demons president Daryle Mann, Victoria Park mayor Trevor Vaughan and Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta in front of the old Lathlain grandstand.

LATHLAIN Oval’s existing grandstand is a step closer to demolition and replacement as the final phase of the Lathlain Precinct Redevelopment.

Swan MHR Steve Irons confirmed today that the Federal Government would contribute $4 million to help Perth Football Club replace its 60-year-old spectator facility.

“It has meant a lot to people in this area for a long time but it is no longer fit for purpose,” Mr Irons said at Thursday’s announcement.

The grandstand was built in 1958 and extended in 1970, but looks particularly tired alongside the West Coast Eagles’ fast-rising training base under construction next door.

The existing grandstand is 60 years old.

“The grandstand redevelopment is the final stage for a world class sporting precinct in reference to Lathlain Park and Optus Stadium,” Mr Irons said at Thursday’s announcement.

“It’s hard to believe 11 years ago I was campaigning for floodlight improvements at Lathlain Oval.

“Just look at how far we’ve come, with two ovals now.”

Perth Football Club President Daryle Mann said the club had been waiting patiently for funding since the Department of Sport and Recreation determined their ageing grandstand to be a ‘knockdown’ job three years ago.

“We are going to be good neighbours, really good neighbours, and this will enable us to be even better neighbours as we can share facilities amongst each other,” he said.

For example, West Coast supporters would use the grandstand to watch their new reserves team play WAFL games at Lathlain.

Mr Irons, a past board member and the current patron of the Demons, said new facilities would help the WAFL club to run more community programs.

“There are 10,000 kids directly involved in football-related activities in the Perth district zone and the community needs modern facilities to help them reach their potential and also to provide the best opportunity to its district football teams, including the Demons,” Mr Irons said.

“That’s what this project is all about – ensuring our local kids have the facilities they need to get out there and get involved and enjoy the best of what sport has to offer.

“It will also improve facilities for female players getting more women and girls out to participate in the great game of Aussie Rules.”

The Eagles, as a co-tenant at Lathlain, along with local authority the Town of Victoria Park, have previously indicated they would financial contribute to a grandstand redevelopment.

West Coast hopes it’s fast-rising new training base will be completed by March.

West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett welcomed the funding for the Demons and reiterated that the AFL premiers and their WAFL co-tenants would work together to connect with the community around Lathlain.