Rushton Park back to the drawing board

Chris Egan  |  Tuesday 10th October 2006

WA's Rushton Park has officially gone back to the drawing board, with grants from both the Federal and State Governments inefficient for the proposed redevelopment of the WAFL ground.

Gordon MacMile who wrote up the draft report of the Master Plan hinted that problems gaining the appropriate amount for the redevelopment were due to it being football focused, rather then benefiting all sports.

While Austadiums.com has learnt that the Mandurah City Council withdrew the Department of Transport and Regional Services grant application of $965,000 for the venue in April of this year, due to the shortfall that had developed.

Gemma Healy, the Senior Recreation Officer at the City of Mandurah, explained at the Governance and Infrastructure Committee Meeting on Tuesday Night that the $400,000 CSSR grant that Peel Thunder initially applied for, had also been returned by the club.

"The grant was actually awarded to the club (Peel Thunder), but the grant was later returned by the club. We are now working with the club on a new grant".

While Gordon MacMile, who gave a presentation on the proposed master plan, touted the new plan for not only Peel Thunder but also existing users in the immediate vicinity of Rushton Park. The draft report showed that Mandurah Tennis, Netball and Croquet Club's would all benefit from the masterplan, with the belief that the football centric bids of the past was a key reason in gaining insufficient funding. 

"Some of the difficulties we had in getting funding was centered on benefiting football and was not spread so broadly...so we went back to the drawing board".

The drawing board for the Rushton Park Masterplan includes improving the streetscape of Dower Street and creating an entry statement for the facility, while the venue's development has changed from the initial plans.

"Recommends building a 500 seat grandstand on the Dower St level, with services for playing football beneath".

This changes the initial redevelopment which incorporated a corporate balcony area for the second tier of the grandstand.

While MacMile stated that their was a desire to separate the cultures of the amateur Mandurah Mustangs who play in the Peel Football League and Peel Thunder Football Club who play in the Western Australian Football League.

"We found that both clubs operated out of the one office and we found that we needed to separate the semi-professional and amateur clubs...and that Mandurah Netball would have more in common with the Mandurah Mustangs then Peel Thunder Football Club".

As Austadiums.com reported in June, the Council has been looking at increasing funding levels for Rushton Park.

"Identified within 10-year Capital Infrastructure Plan are funds ($2,000,000) as a potential contribution from council towards the development of facilities at Rushton Park".

Macmile boldly outlined the starting date of construction if they where granted the desired funding, with even the AFL looking at providing money for the venue's development.

"If we are successful with the grant we can start building in July next year."

While other than the striking entry statement that would greet spectators at the venue, a pedestrian path would link all the sporting facilities in the Rushton Park master plan direct with the Mandurah Transit Centre, which from July 2007 will include the Mandurah Railway Station.

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WA's Rushton Park has officially gone back to the drawing board, with grants from both the Federal and State Governments inefficient for the proposed redevelopment of the WAFL ground.
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