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ETAF: Frequently Asked Questions

December 21, 2012 12:05 PM


Freo's New Elite Training and Administration Facility

Fremantle Football Club Facility Development at Cockburn Central West Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does the club need a new training and administration facility?

• In their current state, the club’s facilities are no longer satisfactory as a training and administration base for an AFL club, nor are the facilities suitable for maximising broader community programs and interaction.
• The AFL is a very competitive landscape and this competition is increasing.  This project presents a rare opportunity to provide a competitive advantage for the club.
• The world-class development at Cockburn Central West will provide the club with:
­ Dedicated state-of-the-art football facilities;
­ Dedicated state-of-the-art administration facilities; and
­ Significant community facilities.
• FFC has had a presence at Fremantle Oval since 1994 with the current facility opened in 2000.
• Fremantle Oval has been an appropriate administration and training base for FFC, but the competition and the club have outgrown the facility.  
• In order to improve the club’s competitiveness, FFC must improve its facilities.

2. Why is the club establishing a new training and administration facility away from Fremantle Oval?

We are growing as a club and the green field Cockburn Central West development provides the club with the best opportunity to secure sustained success on and off the field and will enable the club to better service members, stakeholders and the community. The board has made this decision on the basis of a 50-year view with the longer term interests of the club in mind.

The key reasons include:
• Increased scope and scale of facility development possible (second training oval; six court indoor training centre, hydrotherapy pool, ten lane indoor lap pool etc) at the Cockburn Central West site.
• Projected decreased operational costs at the Cockburn Central West site.
• The green field Cockburn Central West site is a less complicated site with likely less planning uncertainty.
• No facility transition costs or interruption to club operations at Cockburn Central West site.
• Greater capacity to grow and service members, corporate partners and the community at the Cockburn Central West site.
• The funding required from external non-partners is less at the Cockburn Central West site than the Fremantle Oval options.
• The Cockburn Central West site, due to its developmental nature, strategic importance as a growth area and growing population, is likely to provide increased funding opportunities through State and Federal Government.
• Significant community facility partnership opportunities at the Cockburn Central West site.
• Development at Fremantle Oval poses some challenges around heritage listed buildings in and around the precinct, protected trees, uneven ground levels and the need for the ground to continue to function during any redevelopment.

It is also important to note that:
• FFC is not leaving the greater Fremantle area, with Cockburn Central West very much within the broader Fremantle region, including the Federal seat of Fremantle.
• The Cockburn Central West site is within our key member and supporter zone (current and future), south of the river and within the greater Fremantle region.
• FFC has never been just about Fremantle Oval – it’s much more than that with our club drawing on the heritage of the whole Fremantle catchment area, of which Cockburn is a part.

3. What presence will the club maintain at Fremantle Oval?

• The club is establishing a new administration and training facility at Cockburn Central West, as opposed to leaving Fremantle Oval.
• The club will work with the City of Fremantle to identify the best use of its Fremantle Oval facilities, over which it holds a 50-year lease, and the club will look to continue to maintain member, community, commercial and sporting activities and a connection to the Fremantle region via a continued presence at Fremantle Oval.
• Alternative uses for the existing FFC offices and facilities at Fremantle Oval have the potential to bring greater traffic and vibrancy to the area than the existing FFC use.

4. What process has the club followed in coming to this decision?

The board and club executive, with the assistance of external consultants, have, over the past four years, undertaken a very thorough process to examine possible facility development options, opportunities and locations.

This process has involved:

• Development of a master plan and feasibility analysis for the Fremantle Oval precinct, inclusive of over 10 different options and/or sub-options.
• Extensive consultation with the City of Fremantle, including formation of a joint sub-committee that has met fortnightly for the past eight months.
• High-level examination of up to 15 possible alternate location options within the greater Fremantle region to expand our facilities with advice from the West Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).
• Detailed examination of three development options, inclusive of Cockburn Central West and Fremantle Oval.
• Development of a master plan and feasibility analysis for the Cockburn Central West site.
• Extensive consultation with the City of Cockburn.
• Consultation with all levels of government.

5. How were members consulted as part of this decision?

• The board is charged with managing the club in the best interests of the members and has managed the due diligence and decision-making process on behalf of the members to ensure that the best long-term interests of the club are met. For a decision of this nature, and with the comprehensive assessment process that was followed by the board, it is simply not practical to consult with members unilaterally.
• As a result of direct communication with a broad cross section of members over the past twelve months by board members, club management and staff, the questions outlined in this document have been considered by the board and club management as part of the due diligence and decision-making process.

6. What does the Cockburn Central West development include?

In addition to the club’s new world-class elite training and administration facility (with the components of this facility set out in question one), the redeveloped precinct will incorporate contemporary facilities which will allow:

• Significant use of the developing Cockburn Central West precinct by clubs, community and the commercial sector.
• Greater accessibility for players, supporters and the community.
• Increased and early precinct activation and vibrancy in a growing residential and business precinct.
• Possible creation of an education precinct with a focus on health.
The scope of works proposed in the international standard facility include the following elements:
• Regional multipurpose indoor sporting centre, inclusive of six highball courts and an integrated show court.
• Regional aquatic centre including:
­ 50 metre 10 lane multi-purpose outdoor competition and water polo swimming pool;
­ 25 metre indoor program and learn to swim pool;
­ Children’s aquatic play area and splash pad;
­ Hydrotherapy pool; and
­ Aquatic recovery pools.
• Health and wellness facilities including:
­ Wellness and fitness studio including gymnasium, program rooms and rehabilitation facilities; and
­ Sports medicine facilities.
• Meeting and conference rooms.
• Community running and walking tracks.
• AFL quality standard oval capable of accommodating Patersons Stadium, new Perth Stadium, MCG and Etihad size surfaces.
• Community café.
• Sport store inclusive of a Fremantle Dockers’ retail shop.
• Community oval/pitch(s) and pavilion.
• Dedicated Fremantle Dockers’ football facilities include football administration, medical, conditioning, recovery and education.
• Administration offices for the club and other community sporting organisations.
• Dedicated multimedia facility for both the club and the local community.
• Local community meeting and flexible space.
• Elite training facilities for other elite athletes.
• Playground facility.
• Community function centre (subject to a further business case assessment).
• Curtin University education and research facilities

7. Does the establishment of a new administration and training facility at Cockburn Central West mean the club would consider changing its name?

• We are, and will continue to be, known as the Fremantle Dockers Football Club.
• We do not want to be known as anything but the Fremantle Dockers Football Club, Freo Dockers Football Club or the Freo Dockers.

8. Where will the Cockburn Central West project rank in terms of AFL and other elite sporting facilities?

• The facilities available to the club at Cockburn Central West will be on a level which exceeds other club facilities in the AFL and will provide the club with one of the best elite training facilities in Australia.
• The $107m total facility development will be significantly larger than any project involving AFL club elite training and administration facilities to date.
• The Cockburn Central West facility will be on a standard equal to many international facilities that the club has researched during recent overseas facility tours as part of the due diligence and decision-making process.

9. Does the Cockburn Central West project include supporter facilities?

• The Cockburn Central West facility will include supporter facilities with the exact nature and size of these facilities to be determined in the next stage of design.
• This could include a community function centre which is being investigated as part of a separate business case.

10. Does the Cockburn Central West site allow for future expansion?

• The Cockburn Central West site will allow for the development of world class community facilities, elite training and administration facility for the club along with the provision for future expansion of facilities for both the club and the community.

11. How has the AFL been involved in the decision-making process and what is the AFL’s view’s on the expansion to Cockburn Central West?

• AFL Executives and the AFL Commission have been kept informed during the due diligence and assessment process to determine FFC’s strategy for development of it’s new elite training and administration facilities.
• The AFL has participated in the master plan process, assisted in the due diligence process through provision of AFL and international facility benchmarking information and assisted in the process of assessing Government funding opportunities.
• The AFL is fully supportive of the club’s elite training and administration facility development in Cockburn Central West and see it as a key component of the club’s growth and expansion plans leading to the opening of the new Perth Stadium in 2018.
• The AFL also sees the club’s elite training and administration facility development in Cockburn Central West as integral to the development of the game in WA and in-line with the AFL strategy of growing the AFL’s presence in the community.
• It is the AFL’s view that this will be a benchmark facility in the AFL.

12. What groups will benefit from the Cockburn Central West project?

• A range of groups will benefit from the variety of facilities that will be included as part of the redevelopment.
• Groups may include:
­ The Fremantle Dockers;
­ FFC members, supporters and fans;
­ Local and regional sporting organisations;
­ Local and regional schools;
­ Local and regional sport and recreation organisations;
­ Local and regional teams and athletes;
­ Community based organisations;
­ Local school groups;
­ Park users; and
­ Nearby businesses.

13. What funding contributions are being made by the Fremantle Football Club and the City of Cockburn to the project?

• The current project budget, inclusive of club elite training and administration facilities and City of Cockburn community facilities, is estimated at a minimum of $107 million, depending on final scope, and includes funding from the key stakeholders in the City of Cockburn and FFC of:
­ The City of Cockburn $65m; and
­ FFC $10m.

14. How much was the City of Fremantle willing to contribute to a redevelopment at Fremantle Oval?

• The City of Fremantle was willing to make a direct financial commitment to a Fremantle Oval redevelopment with this amount being commercial in confidence.
• The club is appreciative of the proposed direct financial commitment by the City of Fremantle but unfortunately, even with this commitment, it still left a significant shortfall in funding to complete a sustainable and suitable redevelopment at Fremantle Oval.

15. Is further funding required for the project?

• In order to bring the project to fruition, the City of Cockburn and the club and are now seeking funding support from the State and Federal Government.

16. Who will manage the project?

• A Project Control Group (PCG) will be established to oversee the delivery of the project and includes representatives from the City of Cockburn and the club.
• In addition there has been and will be a range of specialist consultants engaged to help the PCG deliver the project, including:
­ Project Manager;
­ Architect;
­ Landscape architect;
­ Planning consultant;
­ Traffic consultant;
­ ESD consultant; and
­ Disability access consultant, etc.
• Ultimately, the City of Cockburn as project principal will be responsible for delivering the project.

17. Will there be a public consultation process?

• As part of the town-planning process, the normal statutory public consultation process has been, and will be, undertaken.
• The City of Cockburn in conjunction with the club has, and will continue to, consult with a range of groups to identify those with a need that can be addressed by the facility mix that forms part of the community facilities being delivered as part of the project.

18. What effect will the project have on usable open space?

• The current proposal seeks to provide a significant gain in public open space.  

19. Will the development include car parking?

• The development will include up to 700 car parking bays for use by community facility users and the club’s players, staff, visitors and members.

20. What are the timelines for this project?

• It is anticipated that the construction period will commence in early/mid 2014, will take in the order of 18 months to complete and be ready for 2016/2017.

21. Who will manage the facility following the development?

• The City of Cockburn will manage the facility, with the club receiving a 50-year lease and/or license agreement for its use of dedicated facilities, shared facilities and oval.

22. What are the details of the tenancy arrangement for the club?

• The club will secure a 50-year peppercorn lease for the lease of exclusive areas and access to shared areas.
• As part of the lease, the club will receive exclusive access to its dedicated facilities and priority access, at designated times nominated by the club, to shared facilities.
• The exact details of the arrangement are considered commercial in confidence.

23. Will there be a commercial café/bar?

• A commercial café is included that, subject to liquor license approval, will have the ability to sell alcohol at select times.  

24. Why did the club indicate some time ago that staying at Fremantle Oval was its clear preference?

• The club has always maintained that its preference was to maintain its elite training and administration facilities at Fremantle Oval and that any decision to develop its elite training and administration facility away from Fremantle Oval would require a compelling case.
• The opportunity to develop its elite training and administration facility at the Cockburn Central West site has presented an opportunity to the club that in the view of the board is compelling when compared to the alternatives available at Fremantle Oval.

25. When did the club make the decision to develop its elite training and administration facilities at Cockburn Central West?

• Over the past four years FFC, in conjunction with a number of key stakeholders, including the City of Fremantle, the AFL and the State Government, has undertaken a comprehensive investigation process which included a detailed master plan and options analysis for the Fremantle Oval precinct and, during the past 12 months, considered a number of alternative development locations for the club’s training and administration centre.  
• Specifically, for many months the club has been undertaking an extremely thorough and extensive due diligence and assessment process of its options for expanding its elite training and administration facilities.
• This process has involved, and to a large degree the timing of this process has been dependent on, the provision of information from third parties and discussions with third parties, including the City of Cockburn and the City of Fremantle.
• A final decision by the club to develop its elite training and administration facilities at Cockburn Central West was made by the FFC board on Tuesday 18 December after approval of the development and final heads of agreement between the club and the City of Cockburn by the City of Cockburn Council.

26. What activities will be planned for the football oval at this new facility in the future?

• The City of Cockburn and the club’s vision is for the reserve to be a club and community facility.
• Future events could include, but not be limited to:
­ AFL Reserves/WAFL games;
­ Under 18 matches;
­ Auskick;
­ Community events;
­ Cultural events;
­ School swimming carnivals;
­ Regional sports carnivals;
­ Weekly sporting competitions; and
­ Casual sporting and recreational use.

27. What will be the affect on the surrounding residential area during construction?

• The impact on the surrounding residential area during the construction period will be minimal as the works are confined to the Cockburn Central West site.
• The builder will be required to prepare a construction management plan that addresses issues such as:
­ Car parking;
­ Truck access;
­ Noise amenity;
­ Dust suppression; and
­ Hours of work.

28. What sort of patronage numbers are projected at the new development?

• Preliminary estimates, as part of facility feasibility and business planning, anticipate that patronage will be in excess of 600,000 visitors per year.
• The majority of use will be community use.

29. Will there be other major tenants occupying the facility?

• The City of Cockburn and the club are currently in discussions with Curtin University who are considering establishment of educational and research activities at Cockburn Central West as part of this new world-class project.

30. Does the project include any environmentally sustainable design initiatives?

• The new building will likely include a range of environmentally sustainable design initiatives including:
­ Solar panels;
­ Natural ventilation and energy efficient mechanical plant;
­ Improved use of natural light and high performance glazing;
­ Waste management;
­ Water conserving appliances; and
­ Cycling facilities.
• In addition, the City of Cockburn and the club are investigating a range of additional initiatives that could be included.

31. Is there contaminated soil on site?

• After conducting a soil contamination assessment, it was determined that the site does not contain contaminated soil.

32. Has the building design considered visitors with a disability?

• The design of the building has considered the requirements of any visitor that may have a disability and will meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act as required under the Building Code of Australia.
• Additional design elements will be assessed in conjunction with the disability access consultant.

33. Will there be any signage on the building?

• Yes, the exact nature, size etc of the signage is to be confirmed.

34. Will the Naming Rights to the Cockburn Central West building be sold?

• The City of Cockburn and FFC are currently exploring the sale of Naming Rights as an option.

35. Where can FFC members find out more about the development plans and the decision?

• In addition to this frequently asked questions document, members will be sent a detailed media release and other information and background on the day of the announcement.
• The 2012 Year Book will contain an in-depth report on the expansion plans and this will be available in January 2013.
• The site development plans will be on display in the foyer of the club’s offices at Fremantle Oval from 8 January 2013 and on the club’s website for members to view from 21 December 2012.
• Frequently asked questions and answers will also be included in the display and on the website.