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Falcons welcome pledge to spend big
Falcons welcome pledge to spend big

West Perth will use a new $8 million facility to help develop football in the northern suburbs for the next 40 years.

Welcoming the Labor promise to spend up to $9 million at Arena Joondalup, the Falcons called on the State Government to match the offer should it be re-elected next month.

The money would be used to build a two-storey facility that would house change rooms, an administrative area and function rooms for West Perth and other clubs in the district.

Joondalup MLA Tony O'Gorman said the new headquarters would ensure West Perth had a permanent home at Joondalup after nearly two decades of sometimes shaky tenure at the site and a tenuous relationship with landlord VenuesWest.

Better off-field facilities would increase the chances of the AFL fixturing pre-season matches at the ground while other sports based there would also benefit from the improved buildings.

"This facility will give the club a soul and a thumping heartbeat," West Perth president Brett Raponi said. "Our members have had to endure some tough times since we left Leederville for Joondalup back in 1994."

West Perth would be the biggest beneficiary of the new facility but the club has proved to be one of the State's most innovative and energetic football promoters with deep links into the northern suburbs.

The Falcons had a highly successful promotion last year when they drew 6044 fans to the ground to celebrate international round - a club venture recognising the strong British heritage in the district - and were quizzed by the AFL on the success of the marketing strategy.

The club is also taking a leading role in getting children in the district to embrace sport and a healthier lifestyle.

Raponi said he was delighted the Labor Party had recognised the role that football and the Falcons played in the northern suburbs.

"The club recently won the City of Joondalup Australia Day award for community promotion and involvement," he said.

"This facility will provide an AFL-standard centre of excellence that will help our club to improve its on-field performance and will also benefit our district partners."

O'Gorman said the new facility would be the culmination of more than 10 years' work.

"Over the years the club has made improvements but this will be the final step for them in securing Arena Joondalup as a permanent home in the northern suburbs," he said.