Push to keep Subi oval remnants
Two last-minute bids to stop the total demolition of Subiaco Oval were made this week.
Elements of WA’s heritage-listed home of football, dating back to 1908, should be retained for muchneeded community uses once the oval precinct is given over to a school and high density, high-rise housing the submissions said.
Weekend markets and a football museum could be incorporated, Sharon Williams told the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority on Monday.
At present the plan is to preserve only the 1930s main gates and to reduce the playing surface to its 1935 dimensions.
The $23million application to demolish the oval next year states: “The viability of retention of Subiaco Oval in its current form with the grandstands is low to nonexistent.”
Offices and function rooms inthe grandstands could continue to be used for their original purpose but “due to the distinctive curved design of the facilities and the integral stadium seating, it will be difficult to retain and incorporate into a new development”.
Subiaco resident and councillor Julie Matheson said that with highrise, high-density housing planned for the area every community and sporting use for the site should be explored before demolition begins.
“It has not even been put out for public comment,” she said.
The pair made submissions in Perth before the meeting at which LandCorp and the MRA were to decide on the demolition.
If spectator areas were incorporated junior football, women’s football and even WAFL games, soccer and rugby could be played there.
The light towers should also be retained. They have been designed to focus on the oval and avoid light spill to nearby houses.
An inside source said their presentations were “well received”.
Retaining the football heritage of Melbourne’s Victoria Park in Abbotsford, former home of the Collingwood Football Club, and transforming it into a major local recreation space, has been a great community success.
Curved elements of the stands were preserved to retain the stadium’s heritage.
The former Collingwood park includes a fenced football oval, community centre at Victoria Park’s Social Club building, public art and sculpture and is home to Collingwood Football Club’s VFL matches – visitors are able to attend all games for free.
The old spectator terraces around the ground have been landscaped to provide a place for picnics and barbecues with family and friends.
Dogs are allowed off-leash on the oval only when the ground is not in use for approved sporting events, including training.
The MRA is keen to start demolition as soon as possible so it is finished before the first students move into the new Subiaco high school next door in 2020.
Subiaco resident Linda Rogers said two large moreton bay fig trees near the Haydn Bunton Drive railway bridge, slated to be kept, could die from root disturbance because the 12m radius required to protect them had not been specified.
The MRA also wants to take four mature trees from the ground near the main gates.
“Once the oval is surrounded by 20-storey towers, every bit of greenery will be valuable,” she said.
An MRA/LandCorp spokesman said the Subiaco Land Redevelopment Committee meeting happened on Monday morning and the minutes were still being ratified.
“The LRC decisions (not the minutes) will be uploaded to the website within the next seven days,” he said.
Parts of Collingwood’s former home, Victoria Park, have been preservedfor community use.