Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Updated report finds shortfall of sports space for future requirements 

An updated report looking at the future requirements of sports space in the City has found the addition of Subiaco Oval as publicly available sport space is of significant benefit to the community but an overall shortfall (per resident) still exists and is expected to worsen as the population of the City increases.  

It comes after a Council resolution in November 2021 to seek an update to a 2016 report on the City’s future sports space requirements. 

The report will be used to advocate for additional sports space going forward as well as government investment in sports facilities within the City.  

The updated report states that the addition of Subiaco Oval playing surface for use by community sporting clubs helps to reduce the existing shortfall and will ease pressure on Rosalie Park – the City’s current primary active sports space. However, it also identifies a shortfall which will only increase over time. 

The updated report takes into account new information including:  
  • demographic information and population projections based on the City’s Local Planning Strategy 2020 and the Subi East Master Plan prepared by DevelopmentWA 
  • resident sporting clubs’ membership numbers and sports space needs.  
It recommends that the City continue efforts that have been made to date, to investigate opportunities for the shared use of school sports facilities outside of school hours. 

Subiaco Mayor David McMullen said the updated report would assist the City’s ongoing advocacy to ensure the community’s sports spaces needs are met now and into the future.
“We know active open space in our City is critically important, and that projected shortfalls are of great concern. This updated report gives us something tangible to present to State Government and members of Parliament, as we continue to advocate for more of what is needed to help serve our growing population,” he said. 

“Access to sporting opportunities is important for people of all ages and brings a number of known health benefits. A shortfall of sporting space on the other hand limits choice, to the detriment of our community. With our projected future populations (due in part to natural population growth, but also State Government planning policy), this shortfall is only going to get worse.  

“When Subiaco Oval was opened up for community use pursuant to a Shared User Agreement, this was a win, particularly when you consider that for decades it was mostly off limits to all but professional and semi-professional sportspersons. Now we need to use the information contained in the updated sports space report – which quantifies what we knew to be a growing problem – and take the steps available to us to maximise sports space for all – now and into the future.” 

The City surveyed local sporting clubs during the report review; clubs generally indicated they were expecting membership growth in the future but availability of grounds, facilities and volunteers may limit the extent of growth. 

The full updated report can be viewed in the February Council Meeting attachments.
extraMile by Dapth