By Sally McGlew
DECISIONS on the future management options for the State Equestrian Centre (SEC) have been deferred for a future date with the City of Swan including $180,000 in their budget for the facility for the 2021/22 financial year.
SEC chief executive Dwight Pedlow said he was relieved and pleased that the centre would be given a much needed reprieve.
“We had requested those funds for this year and development money for the future,” he said.
“It gives us that opportunity to secure the future.
“This is the first step and the breathing space we needed.”
In a motion moved by Cr Rod Henderson Council unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Sport and Recreation to propose Lot 43 and Lot 31 Cathedral Avenue, Brigadoon, be ceded to the Crown and vested in the State Government for ongoing management.
Council also recognised that the SEC is an integral part of the Swan Valley and provides a wide support base for Upper Swan, Bullsbrook and Gidgegannup.
The City of Swan agreed to the $180,000 funding to allow more time for the State and Federal Governments to provide funding for the urgent works needed to sustain the facility in the long term.
Council also agreed to work with the SEC on advocacy towards both levels of government to seek money to fund the refurbishment of the centre, thought to be $20 to 21 million.
State Minister for Sport and Recreation Mick Murray said he was aware that Equestrian WA (EWA) had lodged its intent to cease managing the SEC by the end of 2021 with the City of Swan.
The SEC has met with Mr Murray on a number of occasions in the past two years to try to secure funding for the facility’s future.
“The Department continues to support the SEC through the provision of infrastructure funding,” Mr Murray said in December 2020.
Perth Hills MLA Jessica Shaw said in 2019 she donated $450,000 to the SEC.
“These funds were to assist the sport with general operating costs for the SEC over two years while the organisation completed a business model review of the facility,” she said.
The State Government also provided an additional $370,000 to EWA for the State Equestrian Centre through the State Sporting Infrastructure Fund (SSIF) in 2020, as part of funds allocated to the SSIF through the WA Recovery Plan.
“That money was for a range of smaller projects identified as risks in an asset management plan to be delivered over the next 12-18 months,” Ms Shaw said.
As a former rider Ms Shaw said she understands the benefits that equestrian sports can deliver.
“I hope we can all work with EWA to support a viable facility in the future.”