Razing fences to mend them

BARBED wire fencing surrounding Litis Stadium came down this week, marking a much-warmed relationship between landowner Vincent council and tenant Floreat Athena Football Club.

As of January 15 people can freely walk between the stadium and public space at Britannia Reserve, though they’re been asked to keep bikes and dogs off the pitches.

Exclusive

Up until recently Floreat Athena had been pushing for a long-term lease guaranteeing exclusive use of all its grounds, but following a board change it softened its stance and in November last year reached an agreement with Vincent that only the clubrooms and tiered seating would be off-limits to the public.

The council will now seek expressions of interest from summer sports clubs to use the grounds in soccer’s off-season, and it could also be used for events like school sports carnivals.

•Worker Dwayne Outman takes down the fence on Wednesday January 15. Photo by David Bell

Mayor Emma Cole said Litis, built for 1962 Commonwealth Games, was “historic” and it was important it was accessible to everyone.

“The removal of the fence will open up the space to more users and benefit our growing, inner city community,” Ms Cole said.

“It will also allow rangers to better patrol the stadium and will give the city the chance to better promote the site for summer sports.”

Club secretary Emmanuel Takoniatis said in November the interim board was glad to secure another 10 years at Litis, as the council had initially only offered five. 

The agreement also means the club’s a step closer to unlocking a $3 million federal grant for facility upgrades. The grant was secured by One Nation senator Peter Georgiou from a federal fund with vague rules, leading Labor to brand it a slush fund and claim the grant was part of a “deal” stitched up between the Morrison government and Pauline Hanson. The Morrison government hadn’t even checked that Vincent, as the owner of the site, agreed with an upgrade.

The council and club will now confer over how the money’s spent.

by DAVID BELL

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