Hit in face: Basketball wars

CanningAccountability image basketball

UPDATE:
The new council, Canning’s first in three years, will meet only once between the date of being elected and the WBA’s deadline on a commitment to funding up to $3.5m for its expansion, that we presume the candidates who have sought WBA’s “endorsement” have agreed to work to.

Overnight many council nominees showed what they were willing to promise, to get on to council, and how little effort they had made to put any research in to reading city documents, from Minutes to master plans to budgets to feasibility studies – or even contacting the City – before seeking “endorsement” from the Willetton Basket Association (WBA) in its campaign to get $2.5 – $3.5 million in City funding to expand its stadium facility.#

DODGY PLAYS?  WHO GOT HIT IN THE FACE?  SEE BELOW

We won’t be publishing those endorsements for all five wards, and that of Mayor (we’ll leave that up to readers to locate), but having entered in to this negotiation-for-endorsement with the WBA, should those candidates get in to office, they will need to rush in to play the following:

THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER FORMATION OF THE NEXT COUNCIL (following the election on 17 October 2015), THAT THE WILLETTON BASKETBALL STADIUM EXPANSION PROJECT BE GIVEN PRIORITY FOR DISCUSSION BY THE NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS OF THE CITY OF CANNING, WITH A VIEW TO PROVIDING AN EQUITABLE & BINDING FUNDING COMMITMENT TO THE PROJECT (no later than 17 DECEMBER 2015)*

We’re not sure what “equitable” means here – the Council is expected to cough up considerably more than the many clubs and members who lease this facility – including across Perth.  That cost will still be borne by Canning’s ratepayers, alone.

However this call for expansion of existing facilities to cater for future growth is being made despite the fact a state-of-the-art new facility for basketball – perhaps even an outstanding new home for WBA? – is being worked towards now, by the City of Canning, with the capacity to serve a wider range of sports, meet the regional sporting needs of 10,000 or more, funded not only via state and federal bodies, but potentially the overlapping Council catchment areas of Armadale, Serpentine Jarrahdale, Gosnells and Cockburn.

A regional complex like this may also help sway the case for the next heavy rail project in Perth, after the airport, to be the relatively cheap and short extension of the Thornlie Spur Line, through Canning Vale to the Mandurah Rail Line (flagged as first priority short-term project by Barnett Govt and a priority under MetroNet by Labor – we will expand on this soon).

Our understanding is the oval of the new complex could host entities such as the Glory soccer team, who were negotiating with Curtin University a while back to do same – in part because of the parking availability to cater for 000s of fans.  New bus priority lanes planned for Ranford Road, new rail and potentially thousands of bays at a new Canning Vale Train Station would help service the needs of a major sporting arena.

….but we are not sure the City can afford to do both and the WBA’s policy of choosing not to turn away prospective new players if it can help it (currently it is using satellite courts to meet need), could find its overflow accommodated at an outstanding new facility of which the City of Canning would boast ownership of.

In fact, the feasibility study undertaken by WBA identifies a serious lack of basketball facilities to the south-east of its location – which is where the new sporting complex would be:

CanningAccountability image Canning Vale sporting complex

Several former councillors are running for this election, most of whom have advised they’ve learned not to make promises on anything prior to getting on to council.

The exception here in Stephen Boylen, who was on the just-passed council (but chose to resign rather than see the investigations through to the end) – Mr Boylen has now been endorsed by WBA for giving his commitment to help push through their funding bid.

It does seem as though there is significant interest in infrastructure for the Canning Vale area, for what it’s worth – our blog on “Your Councillor for Infrastructure” (Megan O’Donnell) received the highest number of views on our Facebook – we think its because of the infrastructure projects identified:

CanningAccountability image Megan O'Donnell re infrastructure

But what the Heck, it’s an election, right?  So to the dodgy plays….

Many of the “clean skin” new potential councillors and Mayors haven’t shown themselves above the “appalling behaviour” we are always being told signified the previous council.  They’ve been up to all sorts of bitching, backstabbing, stealing each other policies, taking credit for others’ work, hiding parliamentary dreams, party affiliations and promising things before they get in, spending money the city doesn’t have…

As for orchestrated campaigns, the Willetton Basketball Association seems to be associated with a few dodgy plays too, as well as a few hallmarks we’ve seen before:

  • WBA held a “rally”, but was it about promoting itself or lobbying for one particular mayoral candidate?
  • No other candidates were invited, and those that turned up were not allowed to put out their campaign literature
  • One mayoral candidate was left distressed when a basketball hit their face
  • Another mayoral candidate reported being snubbed by Member for Riverton, Mike Nahan
  • The rally was a fizzer on expected numbers – we are now told it was because everyone was “out-of-town”…
  • WBA’s petition signature numbers are slowing and weren’t setting anything on fire anyway
  • We still don’t know how many votes WBA’s membership amount to within Canning
  • The mayoral candidate endorsed by WBA often achieves his ‘wins’ in conjunction with Mike Nahan-aided grants and his overarching presence
  • Mike Nahan was there calling WBA’s expansion bid “critical” and promising money, but then again its in his electorate and we go to election in 18 months….
  • And that flash new sports complex – that’s not in his electorate!

#Many candidates received important documents from this blog, to flesh out their knowledge of sporting facilities under consideration in Canning a few days ago. Some of those now “endorsed” by the WBA have since modified their campaign FaceBook pitches, but have now committed to supporting WBA financially (we are not aware of any caveats lodged by those endorsed candidates, in relation to their commitment)

*Statement from WBA’s written petition to the City of Canning.

Image created by ClkerFreeVectorImages https://pixabay.com/en/users/ClkerFreeVectorImages-3736/  Sourced at Pixabay.  Licence CC0 1.0

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4 thoughts on “Hit in face: Basketball wars

  1. Willetton basketball stadium currently caters for 3,000 players a week, not including demand from high schools, badminton, children in school holiday programs. It seems that for 3% of the cost of the new $100m facility to cater for one third of its projected 10,000 members would be a cost effective outcome for the residents of Canning.

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    1. Can you tell us why the City, in the absence of a council, appears unwilling to accommodate the cost effectiveness you refer to? I assume you would have been given an indication – help us understand this situation a little better.

      Also, how many of the 3000 players a week live in the Canning area? How many are over 18? I’m interested in gauging how many votes the WBA believes it will be able to contribute to the local govt election, to help with its issues?

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