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