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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 10073

Mr IRONS (Swan) (11:03): Although Australia may be a culturally diverse country which has taken on and quite often become dominant in many sports that did not originate here, I am proud that our No. 1 sport remains that which Australia created and fostered—that is, the Australian Football League. I congratulate Sydney and Hawthorn for making the grand final this coming weekend.

I have spoken in this place previously about the potential for one of Western Australia's AFL club, the West Coast Eagles, to move their training and administration facilities from the outdated Patersons Stadium in Subiaco to Lathlain Park in my electorate of Swan. I proposed this idea to the club's Chief Executive Officer, Trevor Nisbett, in 2010 as part of my local campaign to develop community infrastructure in Swan and my recognition of the potential that Lathlain Park held for the club as a multipurpose facility.

I have progressively worked with the Eagles behind the scenes to develop and advocate for this relocation, and today I am pleased to update the House that earlier this month the site was officially secured, with the club signing a 99-year lease agreement with the town of Victoria Park. The lease agreement was for 50 years, with the option of a renewal for 49 years, and will form a key part of the town's Lathlain Precinct Redevelopment project.

Although this proposed $60 million redevelopment would see two football ovals built—one to the exact size of the new Perth Stadium in Burswood, also in the electorate of Swan, and the other replicating the MCG—and a synthetic running track and indoor and outdoor training facilities, a crucial part of this project is its focus on developing community infrastructure and ensuring that all facilities can be used by the wider community and junior football leagues as well as schools in the local area. Such facilities will include a museum, a community hub, a cafe, barbecue areas, playgrounds and a walk trail and will also be the new base for the Wirrpanda Foundation, which will deliver community outreach programs locally.

This is an important milestone in my campaign to relocate the Eagles to Lathlain, but it is far from the last step. Currently the redevelopment proposal has secured $4.5 million from the AFL fund, and the Eagles have allocated $22 million of their own funds. The remaining funds, however, are in limbo, with the club trying to secure a commitment from the WA state government and also the federal government.

I again highlight, particularly for those members who are not Eagles supporters, that this funding commitment will not be for the sole benefit of the club. It will be a funding commitment for Swan residents and the wider Perth metropolitan community, who will all benefit from the delivery of the state-of-the-art community and recreational hub in the region. I look forward to continuing the work with the Eagles, the town of Victoria Park, the Swan community and my federal and state colleagues to ensure that this is exactly what is achieved. And—while I am on my feet, Mr Deputy Speaker Jones—I would like to add to the record my commiserations to the Townsville Cowboys.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Ewen Jones ): Thank you very much. In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.