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Member update on the Fremantle Dockers’ elite training and administration project

August 9, 2012 7:40 PM

Fremantle Football Club shield logo 2012

Member update on the Fremantle Dockers’ elite training and administration project

Since 2009, the Fremantle Football Club has been working on a plan to improve its training and administration facilities, with the strategic aim of ensuring that the club is best placed to serve its players, staff, members, supporters and the community for the long-term.

Developing a modern and world class training and administration facility is a key component of the club’s strategic plan, and is in accordance with the club’s stated aim of achieving sustained success on and off the field.

When the club officially opened its current training and administration facility at Fremantle Oval in November 2000, the facilities were regarded as one of the benchmarks for club facilities in the AFL.

However, given the advances in the past decade nationally and internationally in technology and sports science, and an increase in the competitive landscape of the AFL, the club’s facilities are now well behind the AFL benchmark.

As part of the club’s endeavours to address this issue, the club, in collaboration with the City of Fremantle, South Fremantle Football Club, AFL and the Department of Sport and Recreation, developed a master plan for the Fremantle Oval Precinct between 2009 and 2011.

The aim was to not only develop new elite training and administration facilities but also to provide greater engagement opportunities for members, supporters and the community.

In accordance with the due diligence process established by the club’s board and prior to finalising the master plan for the Fremantle Oval Precinct in late 2011, the club identified a short list of potential alternative sites within the greater Fremantle area for the location of its new elite training and administration facility (ETAF).

The board attached considerable importance to assessing alternative sites as part of the process to ensure that the club achieved the best possible outcome for the club and all Fremantle Dockers’ members and other key stakeholders for the future.

The alternative sites included a green fields site in the City of Cockburn, which is adjacent to the suburb of Success and known as Cockburn Central West.

The site, bounded by North Lake Road, Midgegooroo Avenue, Beeliar Drive and Poletti Road, is highly accessible being 500m from the Cockburn Central train station and close to the Kwinana Freeway.

Recent developments in the area include substantial commercial and residential projects, including high density housing and retail precinct, and the $38 million Cockburn Integrated Health and Community Facility.

From November 2011 through to June 2012, the club has conducted further analysis and held additional discussions with stakeholders, including the City of Fremantle and the City of Cockburn, to investigate its ETAF development options at the Fremantle Oval Precinct and the potential for a development at the Cockburn Central West site.

At the club’s July board meeting, the board resolved that the club work through land access, land tenure and funding mechanisms to determine whether the Cockburn Central West site presented a compelling case to be considered as a genuine alternative location for the new ETAF.

“The club has made no firm decision on a site for its new training and administration facility, and any such decision will be made only after rigorous assessment of the site options by the board,” Fremantle Dockers’ president Steve Harris said today.

Harris said that the club was very pleased with the collaborative approach of both the City of Fremantle and the City of Cockburn throughout the process to date.

“The club is fortunate to have outstanding development options available at the Fremantle Oval Precinct and the Cockburn Central West site, that both present opportunities for the club to significantly improve its football, administration, commercial and community facilities and the level of service and access it provides to members, supporters, sponsors and the community,” he said.

“The proposed new facilities at both the Fremantle Oval Precinct and the Cockburn Central West site include the provision for larger football and administration facilities, indoor training centres/community recreation facilities, aquatic recovery facilities, multimedia centres plus community meeting rooms and lecture theatres.

(Artist’s impressions of the proposed facilities for the two sites are included in this member update)

“The board further resolved that if a compelling case to relocate its ETAF to Cockburn Central West was proven in the future, the club would continue to maintain a presence at Fremantle Oval and would look to work with the City of Fremantle to develop this plan.

“We will continue to keep our stakeholders and members informed of the due diligence process as this very important and strategic project progresses.”

Harris also noted that immediately after the club’s July board meeting, the club responded to queries by Mark Duffield from The West Australian newspaper on the matter and an article was published in the paper on 27 July.

“The report in The West Australian reflected the position established by the club at our July board meeting,” he said.

“Now that the key project partners the club is liaising with on the project have been updated, the club is pleased to be in a position to provide this update to members.”

Artist’s impression of proposed elite training and administration facility for the Fremantle Oval Precinct.

Artist’s impression of proposed elite training and administration facility for the Cockburn Central West site.