Football club funds surprise
CITY of Vincent Mayor Emma Cole is questioning why the council and Football West was not consulted before a One Nation senator announced on Saturday that Mt Hawthorn’s Floreat Athena Football Club was getting $3 million from the Federal Government.
“As the landowner of the Litis Stadium, on behalf of the community, and as Football West is the state sporting association and also a major stakeholder, this was quite a surprise,” Ms Cole said.
Ms Cole said the council would contact the Australian Sports Commission and the Federal Department of Health about the money.
Senator Peter Georgiou said he was one of “several” senators approached by the club a year ago, after which he lobbied Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann “quite vigorously”.
Floreat Athena was formed in 1951 and has been at the stadium since 1982.
The club is seeking a long-term lease beyond an agreement with the city that has them there until 2019, with an extra-year option, after it was asked by the council to develop a master plan for the stadium and seek outside funding for an upgrade that could cost up to $4 million.
Club president Dimitrious Thomas said he went to see Mr Georgiou, a former masters player at the club, because he was the only person he knew in government.
Mr Thomas said the club would now send a statement to the City and Football West and it was “keen” to work with them on improvements, including replacing the condemned change rooms, upgrading lighting, a better pitch and seating.
“The club acknowledges that the City of Vincent are the landowners and custodians of the stadium and that this announcement doesn’t detour from the club’s focus of continuing the path it has taken to meet the resolutions set out by the council,” he said.
Mr Thomas said the club could consider another location if no long-term lease was agreed upon.