EAST PERTH residents will meet with WA Cricket Association representatives this week to get a better idea of the planned WACA redevelopment.
A reno of the WACA’s been on the drawing board for years since Perth’s new stadium was announced in 2011, and given more impetus in 2013 when the WACA was overlooked to host an international test match for the first time since the 1970s.
The East Perth Community Group’s facilitating the WACA meet because there’s been many various plans over the years, and it wants “to learn what exactly is going to be in our backyard”. They’ll be hearing about it directly from WACA CEO Christina Matthews.
The latest plan will see the WACA downsized as a 10,000 capacity “boutique venue” and include more areas open to the public.
The state and federal governments have already committed money to the project but it’d still need cash from the landowner, Perth council. The council’s worried by the addition of a 50-metre pool, as it would have to pay the yearly maintenance bill.
Labor’s state MP for Perth John Carey says there’s been a lot of local interest, and “I think there is some confusion out there and I understand part of the difficulty is there’s not been a final agreement between the City [of Perth] and WACA regarding the design.
“This forum will provide an opportunity for the WACA to directly brief the community and also for the community to ask questions.
“It will also break down some of the myths out there and also address some of the issues.
“For example, the council claims there’ll be a $1.4 million loss per year, which neither the WACA or the state government accepts.”
It’s on March 17 at 6pm at the WACA, tickets are via eventbrite (just search “East Perth Community Group WACA Redevelopment Update”), but interest is high and it is booking out fast.
by DAVID BELL