By Claire Ottaviano
THE City of Swan could be welcoming its first WAFL football club in the not so distant future with East Perth setting its sights on a new home in Whiteman.
The WAFL team is in discussions with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industry and the City to relocate to the proposed Sporting and Cultural Hub at Whiteman Park.
East Perth chief executive Dean Turner said the hub, proposed to be located north of Marshall Road, was in the middle of the club’s district catchment.
“As a high performing sporting organisation, we hope to be the anchor tenant that will bring vibrancy to this once-in-a-generation opportunity,” he said.
“Our district spans north east from Leederville to Ellenbrook.
“With all the development in Dayton and Brabham and the growth of our youth and girls teams we think we’re the ones that are rightly placed to run and manage the sporting club at the hub.”
The club currently shares Leederville Oval with Subiaco which can lead to scheduling and expansion challenges.
The City has backed the Whiteman Regional Sports Precinct for a number of years with the project sitting at number four on its 2020 advocacy priorities list.
“For a number of years the City has been advocating for a large regional sporting open space on the State-owned part of Whiteman Park,” City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey said.
“We’ve had it on our priorities list for a while but without any real forward momentum.
“Having a prominent club like East Perth interested might help get the traction we need to bring [State Government] to the table.”
With the Morley-Ellenbrook railway line running adjacent to the proposed site, Mayor Kevin Bailey said the location was ideal and would bring tourism and large sporting events to the region.
The Department considered 15 sites for the hub with only two, both at Whiteman Park, meeting required criteria of being within 2km of a train station, having access to water, power and communications services and be deliverable in seven to 10 years.
The Department is currently consulting with state sporting associations and cultural organisations to understand facility needs and develop a business case for an Integrated Cultural and Sporting Hub for Government consideration.