The State Government owns the land on the corner of 68 and Baldivis Road (the current site of the sand quarry) and this land was always intended, long term, to be the site of the future District Sporting Complex as the State had indicated that site would be vested to the City for recreation purposes. However there is no time frame on the transfer of that land and we could be looking 15 years away. Councillor Whitfield and Councillor Downham worked hard behind the scenes with the other Councillors to encourage the City to pursue different options as all of our sporting clubs were bursting at the seams. That is why we now see new land being purchased.
The City of Rockingham has formally purchased the land for the Baldivis District Sporting Complex on lots 4, 103,104 and 105 Eighty Road Baldivis (an area approximately 20 hectares in total) for a combined price of $9.725m with the owners compensated with a premium for selling their properties.
The official planning works for the Sporting Complex can now proceed formally as the City now owns the land.
Baldivis is the fastest growing suburb in Australia and our current population sits at around 35,000 people. With this increased population we have seen the community groups numbers rapidly increase as well and by 2026 we are forecast to have over 60,000 residents living here.
The Sporting clubs have grown , in some cases at 100% over 3 years, and this has necessitated the need for new facilities such as this District Sporting Complex and the anchor tenants of this new facility will , more than likely, be the Baldivis Brumbies who have well and truly outgrown their facility on Fifty Road and will be available for many other community and sporting groups to use.
There are currently 16,000 Baldivis residents who are connected in some way to a sporting club in the area (be as a player, coach, volunteer, board member or parent/guardian or someone who is) and the strain on the current facilities and training grounds has got to a tipping point where members are being turned away.
This facility would potentially be able to host state and national sporting competitions and will help our sporting groups to thrive.
We all know that encouraging people to partake into sports benefits the individuals and the community health wise and socially.
Current Staging Plans.
- The current draft plan shows that Two ovals and one pavilion will be start to be constructed in 2017/18 financial year . The first stage will see a lot of earthworks on the site as well as the building of the car park and ovals and pavilion and the budget estimate for this stage is $10m.
- The current draft plan shows that in 2023/24 another two ovals and another pavilion will be constructed at a cost of approximately $10.8m.
- In 2025/26 the current draft plan shows that $7.5m will be spent on constructing outdoor hard courts (tennis, netball etc)
- In 2027/28 there is $22m budgeted for an indoor sports complex on this site.
- The final stage sees a cycle track installed around this complex in 2032.
Councillor Whitfield and Downham’s Alternate Vision.
Both Councillors believe that there are ways to save rate payers money, and to help create playing facilities faster, in bringing the first two stages of this project together. Their reasoning is that to do the first two stages together would see cost benefits from planning, having machinery already on site which would provide cost savings.
In December of 2016 Councillor Whitfield met with the White Knights Cricket Club to discuss common sense options for that club to also move into the sporting complex and he then submitted a notice of motion Directing the City to investigate incorporating the Baldivis Cricket Club into the New District Sporting Facility for a multitude of reasons, the most important being that rate payers money could be saved.
Initially both of these ideas were met with Luke warm enthusiasm but as time is going by the City may be coming around to both of these ideas.
By combining the first two stages it now appears that it may be possible to save $5m and to cease the plans on building a facility at the Arpenteur Park Cricket facility and incorporating them into the new facility another $3 would be saved.
Both of these measures will save ratepayers $8m if endorsed.
Where to from Here?
There are environmental approvals which could take up to 12 months and then there are detailed planning and environmental works to complete.
What the City will start to do , once more of these approvals are complete, is to liaise with the sporting groups within Baldivis. Naturally the Baldivis Brumbies will be the anchor tenants and the white knights cricket club will play a very major role. Co-locating AFL and Cricket will not be as hard as once thought and both of the clubs will be sought for their input.
Other sporting groups such as baseball, rugby, t-ball and soccer will also be consulted.
This is going to be a fantastic facility for Baldivis, and surrounding facilities.
If only the first stage is built then there will be a club house, parking and two AFL ovals. If the first two stages are done together then there will be 4 AFL ovals, two facilities. The City will be talking with the cricket club to look at incorporating them into this design.
Currently there are no designs at all, the City now owns the space and the community will be consulted heavily as to the layout.
There are going to be people in the community who do think that the City should spend money on facilities like this and each person is entitled to their view. Cities and Shires provide recreation facilities and this complex was inevitable.
Why build it now when the economy is not going well, why build this when you are always putting rates up – Fair point, however with interest rates now at historic lows (and local governments can access very cheap rates) the economics of doing this now are right. Also by building these projects now the City can assist in job creation projects where it would be hoped that local people would be employed.
Why this location, it is really close to my house and I would not mind if you built it somewhere else but not near me – Unfortunately nobody likes things being built anywhere near them , be that a youth plaza, a shop, a childcare centre, a phone tower or even a bus stop. However finding somewhere central where people could walk to was considered very important. Yes a location could have been found perhaps over the freeway but that would be away from where people live and would not encourage people to cycle or walk to it.
Will there be a swimming pool attached to this project? – No
Will there be a recreation Centre – Yes, in time that will provide a venue for basketball etc.