Friday, February 15, 2013 - 10:14 AM

West Perth has welcomed the announcement by Joondalup MLA Tony O’Gorman that Labor will support its plans to build a $7.95 million state-of-the-art facility at Arena Joondalup.

The club has been lobbying the State Government and City of Joondalup to support its plans for a Falcons Centre of Excellence for several months and now calls upon the Coalition to match Labor’s commitment.

The facility, to be built where the main gate now stands, has been designed in consultation with the AFL, the WA Football Commission and the City of Joondalup and meets AFL Centre of Excellence standards. It will make Arena Joondalup a viable alternative venue for AFL NAB Cup matches and AFL practice matches.

West Perth President Brett Raponi said the new centre would allow the club to better support community football clubs in the area, most of whom did not have suitable facilities for their own functions.

“The Labor party has recognised the role that football and the Falcons play in the northern suburbs,” Raponi said. The club recently won the City of Joondalup Australia Day award for community promotion and involvement.”

“This facility will provide an AFL-standard Centre of Excellence that will help our club to improve its on-field performance and will also benefit our district partners.

“I applaud Mark McGowan and local member Tony O’Gorman for their pledge and ongoing support. But I am also delighted for our members who have had to endure some tough times since we left Leederville for Joondalup back in 1994. This facility will give the club a soul and a thumping heartbeat.”

West Perth Chief Executive Officer Gerry O’Dea said the new facility would house the club’s administrative offices, new coach’s rooms and new change rooms.

But it would also include a member's bar and function room to cater for 220 people, which could be hired by other organisations. This would provide West Perth with another revenue stream, while office space in the building would likely be let on a permanent basis.

“I am delighted that the Labor Party has responded to our proposal with this commitment,” Mr O’Dea said.

“A new, modern and expanded facility will prepare our club and the district for the next 40 years and will significantly help to improve the club’s performance and operations to new levels.”

Mr O’Dea said the new centre would allow West Perth to increase its efforts in the local community and was one of the most important developments in the club’s 128 year history.

Click here to view Tony O'Gorman Media Statement