West Coast have launched a bid for up to $40 million in government funding for their proposed elite training centre at Lathlain Park with a dinner in Canberra urging politicians to support the project.
The centre, which will cost between $50 million and $60 million depending on the level of State and Federal government funding, will include facilities for soldiers injured on military service and house the David Wirrpanda Foundation supporting indigenous people. Both are seen as critical to showing a community component in the project as West Coast presses its case for funding.
The Eagles, who are likely to commit about $20 million of their own funds to the project, will also contribute $1 million to help the Perth Football Club establish a new headquarters on the site, with $1 million towards other facilities the Town of Victoria Park plans as part of the project.
The council and West Coast established a heads of agreement last year and are expected to finalise lease arrangements for the centre in the first half of this year.
West Coast chairman Alan Cransberg confirmed the Eagles entertained 50 people at a function at Parliament House, then hosted a dinner at Canberra's Hyatt Hotel on Wednesday night.
Players Nic Naitanui and Beau Waters, inaugural Eagles skipper and 1983 Brownlow medallist Ross Glendinning and 2006 premiership player Wirrpanda were among those who attended.
West Coast board member, Corrective Services Department head and former SAS chief James McMahon was present to explain the proposed facilities for injured SAS personnel, which would be established by support group the SAS Resources Trust.
Mr Cransberg, chief executive Trevor Nisbett, chief operating officer Richard Godfrey, senior football staffer Neale Daniher and special projects manager Digby Moullin, who will steer the project, were there along with former director Julie Bishop, who stepped down from the board after becoming Foreign Affairs Minister.
Mr Cransberg said the club hoped for between $15 million and $20 million each from the State and Federal governments but had not discussed a time frame. The Eagles would like the centre to be in operation about the time the new Burswood Stadium opened in 2018.
"We have just got to make sure they (governments) understand the community value of our proposal," Mr Cransberg said.