What is the proposal?
The current proposal presented to the Council is to construct an artificial pitch and associated infrastructure in the south-west corner of Mt Claremont Oval (see artist image below).
The club over the past two years has developed a concept at its own cost that would fit on the site and still retain a grassed rectangular pitch for use by other sports including Mt Claremont Primary School athletics, and a grassed area for casual use.
The main public access would be located at Montgomery Avenue with only service access from Alfred Road. Some of the existing infrastructure would need to be re-located, such as the cricket nets and western-end flood lights.
What is the Westside Wolves Hockey Club?
Western Australia is a significant participant and contributor to the sport of hockey in Australia and internationally. The western suburbs of metropolitan Perth support four established hockey clubs. These clubs engage in regular fixtures, the development of hockey in schools and junior Minkey hockey programs.
Westside Wolves Hockey Club is one of four clubs, originating from an earlier established club. It has been a long-term participant in premier competition divisions for both women and men.
Westside Wolves Hockey Club was formed in 1987 with the merger of the Graduates Women's Hockey Club, Cricketers Hockey Club, Old Scotch Collegians Hockey Club and the Christ Church Hockey Club. The club's origin go back to 1930 when the Cricketers Hockey Club was established and played at the Claremont Showgrounds.
The club fields senior teams from first grade to veterans and has an extensive junior program at College Park. Running for nearly 30 years, it is thought to be the largest in Australia with nearly 20 local schools participating. The membership of nearly 1,700 is currently made up of:
- 92 women fixture players
- 168 men fixture players
- 287 boys fixture players
- 261 girls fixture players
- 878 Minkey players
Why Mt Claremont Oval as the preferred facility?
There are currently 12 artificial pitches in metropolitan Perth and only three of these are located within the western suburbs. The club, previously, developed a proposal to locate a similar facility at Allen Park, which was unsuccessful.
Other sites have been investigated but have been discounted due to size, location and the costs of construction - and on some sites, the cost of rehabilitation.
In the absence of other suitable sites and the requirements for a hockey facility, Mt Claremont Oval is the most appropriate option.
Currently, there is a recognised shortage of artificial hockey pitches in Western Australia and the Perth metropolitan area. An additional synthetic pitch at this location will relieve pressure on the current Shenton Park facility for the benefit of other local hockey clubs.
How much of the reserve (including oval) precinct will the proposal consume?
Mt Claremont reserve is a Crown Reserve allocated for the purposes of recreation. The reserve has an area of 4.8 hectares including 2.21 ha of bushland.
The Western Wolves proposal covers approximately 0.9 hectares.
What is the current sporting usage?
The reserve is not over committed with sports and is used mainly for junior sporting activities along with some use for cricket or soccer and sports with low rental hours. The oval is currently utilised by:
- Senior cricket
- Junior cricket
- Junior soccer
- Senior soccer
- Mt Claremont Primary School
Have the City and Westside Wolves spoken with other clubs using Mt Claremont Oval?
The City's Administration along with representatives from the Westside Wolves have met with representatives for all clubs who currently tenant Mt Claremont Oval. There was general support at the meeting for the Westside Wolves proposal with the following caveats:
- Milo-in-2 cricket remain at the oval
- Junior cricket relocate to Swanbourne oval
- Junior and senior soccer may need a new home, perhaps at McGillvray Oval or Paul Hasluck Reserve
- Gridiron be retained at the oval
- Senior cricket be relocated to the new synthetic pitch at College Park.
Should the project progress, what will be the cost to the City?
Should the project progress, all costs associated with the artificial pitch and pavilion would be met by the Westside Wolves (via fundraising, possible government assistance and sponsorship funding).
Any decision by Council to undertake consultation or subsequently allocate Mt Claremont Oval as suitable for a synthetic hockey pitch does not pre-commit Council to future funding obligations for this project.
The decision to assist with funding is a separate decision and will be considered on its merits, Council's financial capacity and any other relevant considerations.