MOD­ERN FOOTY

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS - Adam Poulsen

PLANS for a re­de­vel­oped Fre­man­tle Oval should in­clude mod­ernised foot­ball fa­cil­i­ties and fan ameni­ties to bring the age­ing venue into the 21st cen­tury.

That’s the view of South Fre­man­tle Foot­ball Club chief ex­ec­u­tive Cameron Britt, who has been work­ing with a re­cently re-es­tab­lished “rede­vel­op­ment steer­ing com­mit­tee”.

Mr Britt said other stake­hold­ers on the com­mit­tee in­cluded the City of Fre­man­tle, WA Foot­ball Com­mis­sion, Fre­man­tle Dock­ers and De­part­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment, Sport and Cul­tural In­dus­tries.

“It’s a party of dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tions that re­ally want to see Fre­man­tle Oval re­de­vel­oped and at the mo­ment we’re just do­ing some ini­tial project plan­ning and project brief­ing,” Mr Britt ex­plained. “It’s got a pretty long and ex­ten­sive his­tory, but over the last cou­ple of years it’s stalled and spun its wheels a bit.

“But there’s a real con­certed de­sire and in­tent, and a real pos­i­tiv­ity that I’m see­ing from all those groups, to pull in the same di­rec­tion and work to try and at­tract some in­vest­ment to re­de­velop the oval precinct.”

Fre­man­tle Oval was thrust into the spot­light again when the WA Foot­ball Com­mis­sion an­nounced last week the 125-year-old venue would host the 2020 WAFL grand fi­nal for the first time in more than a cen­tury.

Mr Britt said he hoped the land­mark event would demon­strate that, with cer­tain “mod­erni­sa­tions” and in­creased ca­pac­ity, Fre­man­tle Oval could be the ideal venue for WAFL grand fi­nals go­ing for­ward.

“I’d def­i­nitely like to see a mod­erni­sa­tion of our foot­ball fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

“That in­cludes our ac­tual foot­ball de­part­ment and foot­ball op­er­a­tions fa­cil­i­ties, but also our mem­ber and fan ameni­ties. This is a muchloved venue but it’s cer­tainly a bit tired and we think it’s due and ready for some love and in­vest­ment.”

The oval’s fu­ture was also raised at last week’s Fre­man­tle Coun­cil meet­ing, where coun­cil­lors voted unan­i­mously to con­firm the City’s com­mit­ment to the rede­vel­op­ment of the oval, hos­pi­tal and po­lice precinct.

The heav­ily amended item in­cluded the adop­tion of sev­eral key prin­ci­ples to guide plan­ning and de­sign of the precinct. Among them were

to re­solve the “dis­con­nec­tion” be­tween the oval and Vic­to­ria Pavil­ion, and to add a third en­try point at the south end of the Stan Reilly stand to im­prove pedes­trian ac­cess.

It would also “high­light in its ad­vice to govern­ment the crit­i­cal im­por­tance of a new ac­cess road from South Ter­race to the oval land along the south­ern bound­ary of the Stan Reilly site to fa­cil­i­tate long-term rede­vel­op­ment of the precinct”.

The City’s de­sign and projects man­ager Rus­sell King­dom said most of the precinct was Crown land and any ma­jor rede­vel­op­ment of the oval would need to be de­vel­oped with the State Govern­ment.

South Fre­man­tle Foot­ball Club chief ex­ec­u­tive Cameron Britt at Fre­man­tle Oval. Pic­ture: Adam Poulsen

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