Wed. Dec 8th, 2021

The City of Vincent mayor says a lack of support from State and Federal governments to maintain major infrastructure is draining its ability to maintain basic facilities such as public toilets and community halls.

The council last week endorsed its asset management and sustainability strategy — a frank review on the state of its facilities such as Beatty Park, Leederville Oval, Litis Stadium and HBF Park, as well as minor facilities.

The strategy admits the “asset renewal demand” exceeds the City’s resources.

Mayor Emma Cole said the strategy was open with the community that Vincent had “major facilities and not a lot of ability, so far, to get investment from other tiers of government”.

“We have been chipping away at it ourselves on things like Beatty Park. But that then filters down and has impacts on our ability to maintain our toilets, halls and all the rest of it,” she said.

The council also voted to develop a short term strategy to implement the asset strategy.

Deputy Mayor Susan Gontaszewski said it was crucial to “strike while the iron is hot” and understand the next step as soon as possible.

The City’s community consultation on its assets found “little to no support for maintaining the status quo” and an majority view that “strong support for advocating for State and Federal government funding for major sporting facilities” was needed.

Ms Cole told PerthNow the City’s vast portfolio included six major regional and leisure sporting facilities, 38 buildings, halls, pavilions and clubrooms, as well as 47 playgrounds, 106.4ha of parks and gardens and hundreds of kilometres of roads and footpaths.

“Maintaining these big assets does come at a financial cost and ultimately our challenge is to strike the right balance between maintaining our current asset portfolio, meeting changing community needs and working within our means,” she said.

“We consulted with our community … and the top four preferences were to firstly advocate to the State and Federal governments for support for our regional facilities, secondly to encourage more co-location and sharing of facilities between clubs and community groups, followed by removal of underperforming assets and a moderate increase in rates.”

Perth MLA and former Vincent mayor John Carey said he made “funding commitments to improve public amenity” in his seat.

“The funding will go towards a range of projects, including a new skate park in Mt Hawthorn, new netball courts in Robertson Park and new basketball courts in Birdwood Square,” Mr Carey said.

A spokesman for Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck said the Government had a “proud history of providing assistance for infrastructure projects”.

“Locally, these programs have provided funding for a changeroom upgrade at the Loftus Recreation Centre and upgrade female changerooms at the Charles Veryard Pavilion,” he said

“In addition, $1.5 billion has been committed to help local councils deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects including sports facilities.

“Since this program started 2020, the City of Vincent has been allocated $1.14 million for projects such as lighting at the Britannia Reserve, repair of the heritage grandstand at Beatty Park, replacement of the filtration system on the indoor pool at the Beatty Park Leisure Centre and remediation of concourse tiles at the pool.”

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