West Coast Eagles members were missing

Victoria Park West Coast Eagles

I attended the information event on the West Coast Eagles proposed development at the Town of Victoria Park last night (2 June 2016), I was surprised!

The development proposal show’s two ovals at Lathlain, the home of Perth Football Club.  I named oval 1 the gambling precinct oval after the Crown casino at Burswood, and oval 2 the MCG after the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  Both are meant to replicate playing at these two locations.  It’s proposed that 98 trees will be removed or 42% of the urban canopy from the location.

Generally, the attendees were very unhappy about the loss of urban canopy and the amount of traffic and parking which will be forced into the location.  They refused to get into little groups to discussed the development and wanted to air their concerns to everyone in attendance.  They felt that all of their submissions since 2006 had been ignored and this was just a tick a box process to show that the community had been consulted and dismissed.

There was not one of the 60,000+ West Coast Eagles members at the information event.  I found this quite surprising.  Even more surprising is the lack of function rooms for West Coast Eagles members.  The lease agreement only has room for 150 car bays.  Where will the members park when they attend footy games each fortnight at the gambling precinct?

In my opinion there is absolutely nothing for WCE members at this location.  I am astounded that WCE members are not involved with this proposed new location.  Are they expecting to be catered for at the gambling precinct?

Some other highlights from my notes included:

  1. The gambling precinct oval will be raised with landfill from the urban canopy area.  The MCG oval will be lowered.
  2. The gambling precinct oval will be fenced off for security of the players.
  3. The dog exercise area and tennis courts will be removed.
  4. WCE has 170 staff and players.  There will be sufficient car bays for them on site.
  5. There is very little street parking available for the 60,000+ WCE members who attend home games or training days.
  6. There is no management plan in place for this location.  The Town of Victoria Park is expecting to have conditions put on the development application for the WA Planning Commission to approve.  In my experience any conditions which are outside the lease agreement will be challenged by the legal team of the WCE and probably rejected by the WAPC or the State Administrative Tribunal.
  7. There was no real plan to ensure the success of the transplanted trees.  Remember the fig trees that were transplanted from the Graham Farmer Freeway development?  They all died.

Generally, I feel this is a lost opportunity for WCE members to have a great location to support and be in contact with the team. The gambling precinct offers no home ground advantage to the Eagles and the Dockers the way that Subiaco Oval does.

Where is the headquarters for 60,000+ members, to share the wins and the losses, and importantly the history and heritage of the West Coast Eagles?  They don’t appear to be included the consultation process.

Everyone involved seems to be forced into accepting Colin Barnett’s plans for Western Australian football.  They’re flawed plans, and need to be challenged.

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