City of Wanneroo receives $3m in sports funding but councillors lament not receiving full requested amount

Leatherback Park and oval. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Leatherback Park and oval. Picture: Martin Kennealey

WANNEROO councillors have lamented receiving about two thirds of the funding requested from the Department of Sport and Recreation, despite it being more than double the amount received by any other local government.

The City sought nearly $4.8 million in funding for seven projects as part of the department’s Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund for 2017-18.

Results presented at the March 7 council meeting showed it would receive $3.07 million towards facilities at Butler north district open space at Halesworth Park, Banksia Grove district open space and Leatherback Park in Alkimos.

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Councillor Domenic Zappa expressed disappointed that four of the facilities were not funded.

“I know it’s a competitive program but it’s not adequately meeting the needs of our community,” he said.

He believed more money was needed for additional projects to encourage youths to engage in sport, which he said would “address all of these negative issues facing our communities”.

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Mayor Tracey Roberts said there was an obvious need for greater funding than the $12 million available annually.

“This definitely does need to improve,” she said.

Other councillors agreed, with Cr Dianne Guise calling it “clearly insufficient” and Cr Brett Treby, who declared an impartiality interest because of his employment with the department, said sport was an important way for children to build relationships.

Funding for 25 of the 26 projects went to local governments, with Wanneroo the only one to gain funding for three projects.

The cities of Armadale, Gosnells and Melville and Shire of Harvey each had two projects supported while the rest had one.

Wanneroo received more than twice the amount than the next largest sum handed out to an entity, which was $1.5 million to the Shire of Northam.

Armadale, Cockburn and Gosnells each received more than $1 million and the remaining groups were awarded amounts ranging from $66,723 to $797,000.

Cr Zappa made an amending motion asking Mrs Roberts to write to the former Premier and Opposition Leader prior to the State Election requesting the department increase the funding available to local governments via the program and establish a new fund for regional sporting facilities in high growth areas.

It was passed unanimously as part of the resolution, which noted projects at Jimbub Reserve in Tapping, Kingsway Regional Sporting Complex in Madeley and Lake Joondalup Park in Wanneroo were still needed but would be subject to a review of funding capacity through the City’s 2017-18 capital works budget process, which could result in revised delivery timeframes.