West Perth will have a new centre of excellence at Arena Joondalup regardless of who wins the State election after Premier Colin Barnett today announced a Liberal government would fund the project.
Surrounded by 128 years of West Perth memorabilia as he made the announcement, Mr Barnett said the State would provide $16 million for redevelopments at Arena, which also included a new basketball centre for the Wanneroo Basketball Association and more netball and rugby facilities. The City of Joondalup would provide $4 million.
West Perth has for several months lobbied the State Government and the City of Joondalup to help fund its plans for a $7.95 million AFL standard centre and Labor recently announced its support.
The facility, to be built where the main gate now stands, has been designed in consultation with the AFL, the WA Football Commission and the City of Joondalup and will make Arena Joondalup a viable alternative venue for AFL NAB Cup matches and AFL practice matches.
West Perth President Brett Raponi said it was a historic day for West Perth and the most important project since the club left Leederville for Joondalup at the end of 1993.
"This is certainly the most significant development in our short tenure at Arena Joondalup because we now know that we will have a new facility regardless of the outcome of the election," Raponi said
Among the dozens of onlookers who were on hand for this morning's announcement were young West Perth stars Aaron Black and Shane Nelson, both of whom are likely to get the chance to use the change rooms planned for the new facility.
The Falcons' centre of excellence will also have administrative offices, coaches' rooms, a members’ bar to cater for 200 people and office space which the club will be able to lease out.