Cougars fight for space
COCKBURN Basketball Association general manager Tyrone Thwaites says any deferral on the development of the Western Suburbs Sporting Precinct will be putting thousands of Cockburn residents on the “back foot”.
The City of Cockburn has completed a draft study that identifies opportunities for the development of new active open space and the redevelopment of facilities and reserves such as Wally Hagan Stadium and Dixon Park.
The overall costs to implement the upgrades are estimated between $45.71 million and $64.65 million, depending on which development option is chosen.
The City’s community survey on the draft study closes on Friday.
Mr Thwaites said the association, located at Dixon Park Reserve and the largest stakeholder in the process, was crying out for updated facilities in a growing industry.
“Cockburn Basketball Association has been located at Dixon Park Reserve since the mid 1970s, with Wally Hagan Stadium now at the stage where maintenance costs are sky rocketing due to its age,” he said.
“Coupled with the exponential growth of the association that is limited to just four courts, there are 2000-plus community members that are desperate for more space that we will eventually run out of.
“Any deferral to the existing timeline would be putting out the largest stakeholder in the entire process: the Cockburn Cougars family.
“With the growth of basketball nationwide, the Cougars family is growing to the point where the existing facility will soon be no longer able to cater for every single member.
“Funding is also heavily dependent on the existing timeline, and with any deferral, there is a large risk the project is scaled right back.”
Mr Thwaites’ plea came after reading a letter published in the Gazette from eight community groups expressing their concern about the City’s support for the development of Dixon Reserve into an integrated sport and recreation hub before the community consultation period had closed and prior to consultation with stakeholders.
“There is no winner in the Cockburn community if that (deferral) happens,” he said.
“A lot of community groups are making noise about this site, and we accept it is complex.
“But we are in the very early stages of a well-run consultative process by the City of Cockburn and any deferral would be putting out Cockburn residents and we risk losing them to other associations.”
No time to waste: Tyrone Thwaites.