Council resolves not to progress with Recreation and Aquatic Facility
At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 23 May 2023, the City of South Perth Council resolved not to progress delivery of the Recreation and Aquatic Facility (RAF) project.
Council’s decision not to proceed with the RAF was informed by the City’s most recent report which noted a significant capital funding shortfall for the project and the proposed facility’s requirement for ongoing subsidy from City rates revenue.
Other factors considered by Council include the impact of high interest rates on borrowing the estimated capital shortfall, and escalation and uncertainty around the current economic climate. This, combined with a commitment that the RAF would not require an increase to the community’s rates, make the project unviable.
The RAF was first proposed in 2018 and was envisaged as a world class regional health, fitness and recreation facility to be located at Collier Park Golf Course in South Perth.
In 2019, the Federal Government made a $20 million commitment to the $80 million project. This was matched by a $20 million pledge from the City the following year and a further $2-3 million from Curtin University was subsequently secured.
The City presented a $20 million funding proposal to the State Government in October 2021 however funding for the project was not included in subsequent state budgets.
City of South Perth Mayor Greg Milner said that the decision not to proceed with the RAF would be a disappointment for many in the community and thanked them for their support of the project.
“The Recreation and Aquatic Facility has been the City’s largest and most ambitious ongoing project for many years now, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the community for their participation and involvement in all aspects of the RAF. The broad cross section of views about the RAF in our community have been well represented,” Mayor Milner said.
“I acknowledge that many members of our community will be disappointed with this outcome. Unfortunately, in light of the current economic climate, the significant capital funding shortfall, high interest rates and Council’s commitment not to increase rates to subsidise the operation of the RAF, Council has decided that the City is unable to proceed with the project.”
The City will focus its efforts on retaining the $20 million Federal Government grant to be directed towards projects that will benefit the community of South Perth.
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