State Sporting Facilities Plan Framework 2013

A framework for the provision of state, national and international level infrastructure in WA.


The State sporting Facilities Plan (SSFP) was developed by the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) to serve as a blueprint for the provision of state, national and international level infrastructure and introduced in 2001 following Cabinet endorsement.

The Plan has continued to evolve with annual updates supplemented by revisions in 2004 and 2008. This latest review has been more extensive as a result of the significant changes in Western Australia’s sporting landscape over the first 10 years, predominately as a result of major improvements in the facility stock as well as changes in event requirements.

It is worth noting that the Strategic Asset Management Framework (SAMF) produced by the Department of Treasury is consistent with the planning principles embodied in the SSFP and its associated policies/guidelines.

Whilst the ownership, governance, facility and asset management responsibilities for these facilities do not remain with DSR, they remain fundamentally important considerations in a proper planning process.

This framework supports infrastructure planning and development over the course of the next 10 years.

The criteria and planning process identified within the SSFP of 2001 and subsequent project updates are still relevant. The current plan seeks to build on previous work and ensure that new or upgraded facility development for national and international sporting events are tied into the SAMF produced by the Department of Treasury.

Glossary of terms

The following acronyms are used throughout 
this document:

Central Business District
Department of Sport and Recreation
Project Definition Plan
Strategic Asset Management Framework
State Sporting Association
State Sporting Facilities Plan
State Sporting Infrastructure Fund
Western Australian Cricket Association


The state sport facilities planning principles identified in 2001 are still relevant today, namely:

  • The inclusive consideration of a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Preference for joint provision and shared use.
  • Commitment to probity and transparency process.
  • Equity and fairness in overall resource allocation.
  • Pursuit of best practice.


The methodology adopted to develop the SSFP incorporated detailed collation of SSA requirements to host state, national and international events. The conclusions and recommendations reached through this process were underpinned by a series of documented evidence obtained through:

  • One-to-one consultation with selected SSAs.
  • Survey responses from SSAs.
  • Workshops with representatives from SSAs not identified for one-to-one consultation.
  • Consultation with VenuesWest as the governance authority for a significant portfolio of State Government-invested sporting infrastructure.
  • Commentary and feedback received from the SSFP review steering group.
  • An audit of selected facilities currently being used for national and international sporting events.
  • Benchmarking of facilities against similar infrastructure developed or in the process of being developed across Australia.
  • Requirements and published specifications of national and international sporting bodies for the securing and operation of national and international events.
  • Opportunities identified through the detailed analysis of data collected during the review process of the potential for sports to share event infrastructure to maximise the return on any investment.

Framework objectives

The objectives previously identified in the SSFP are still relevant in 2013 and are therefore incorporated and modified below:


There is a continual need to work with SSAs to engage them in the processes required to bring a project to fruition following good governance, project development and business planning processes.


DSR is committed to the Government’s SAMF approach as the process required before a funding submission should be made.


The funding priorities of the SSFP are determined after consultation with SSAs and, where necessary, local government and other State Government agencies. Once the priorities are established individual projects are tested to establish the sustainability and strength of the project’s need.


All projects are required to go through the Department of Treasury’s Business Case and Project Definition Planning (PDP) processes. The Department reviews project priorities with the SSFP on an annual basis.


All projects are now streamlined through the SSFP.


DSR has developed a series of publications to assist in the sustainability of facility management including the Asset Management Guide and the Life Cycle Cost Guidelines. Projects are also required to demonstrate the operational sustainability of the facility prior to a capital bid being submitted.


Communication of the SSFP across government agencies is continuing to improve with an understanding of the role of DSR in the development of sporting infrastructure across government agencies.

Criteria and planning process

The criteria and planning process identified within the SSFP of 2001 and subsequent project updates in 2004 and 2008 are generally still relevant. The most critical consideration in any new or upgraded facility development for national and international sporting events are tied into the SAMF. The guidance identifies the steps required to make the case for investment and the level of detailed justification required. This includes:

  1. Establish the strategic justification for investment.
  2. Build a strong business case based on optimising existing assets for principally the development of high performance sport training, development, competition and events and also identify the broader community benefit.
  3. Incorporate this within a 10–year strategic asset management plan.
  4. Develop the concept approval and further detailed business case, including the detailed analysis of investment options.
  5. Identify potential delivery issues and risks.

Whilst amendments have been made to the SAMF, the process for applying for funding as advocated in the SSFP of 2008 is still relevant and is consistent with Department of Treasury advice. This process follows a six stage process:

Stage 1: Strategic planning

The need being clearly identified for a project through a strategic plan.

Stage 2: The concept

Defining the parameters of the project and how it meets the needs for the present and into the future.

Stage 3: Need established, feasibility study

Having established need, the proponent completes a feasibility study in accordance with agreed guidance.

Stage 4: Independent review of feasibility study and business case development

A further independent review to substantiate claims in the feasibility study.

Stage 5: Business case review

In conjunction with other arms of government, confirm either acceptance of the business case without review or incorporate amendments and acceptance subject to conditions, including contingency planning.

Stage 6: Budget submission

The development of a budget submission for consideration by Government annually.

In order to ensure that the appropriate level of clarity is provided to SSAs this process is generally required to support a business case to be submitted for approval to the Minister and State Advisors.

The stadium hierarchy model

As part of the analysis supporting this work, a stadium hierarchy model has previously been established in response to the increasing rationalisation of facilities and access requirements for sports. It was a legitimate assessment against which elite competition venues could be judged in 2001 and in subsequent reviews. However, circumstances have changed significantly in the past decade and as a result of study outputs into the development of the major stadium, the State adopted a two stadia policy for investment to facilitate the needs of a number of grass pitch sports. The two stadia policy refers to the provision of one oval and one rectangular facility.

The stadium hierarchy model now needs to recognise developments that have either been undertaken or are in the process of being developed and respond to the commercial requirements of a number of sports where growth in average attendance levels suggests that the model is no longer applicable and should be reviewed and updated. This has now resulted in the following:

The stadium hierarchy model

2013 Recommended stadia type


Sports (2013)

Current/proposed provision
and rationale

Outdoor stadium


Football, cricket, soccer, rugby, major community events

Subiaco Oval (43,000 capacity)
Will be replaced by the new Perth Stadium at Burswood (to be constructed by 2018) for AFL and significant international matches and events.

Outdoor rectangular stadium


Soccer, rugby union, rugby league, major community events

Perth Rectangular Stadium (nib Stadium) Current investment and master plan indicates the ground will provide a capacity of 25,000. Stage 1 will be 20,500.

Outdoor stadium


Athletics, soccer, rugby union, rugby league, 2nd tier community events, hockey

Perth Hockey Stadium (6,000 capacity) WA Athletics Stadium (10,000 capacity) Temporary overlay options are available to develop existing stadia for lower attendance state level and interstate competitions.

Indoor stadium


Basketball, netball, tennis

Perth Arena (15,000 capacity)

Indoor stadium


Netball, basketball, regional and state indoor events for 2nd tier sports

Challenge Stadium

Indoor and outdoor stadium


Basketball, baseball, softball,netball, volleyball, badminton, equine, BMX, community events, roller sports, cycling, weightlifting

WA Basketball Centre (2,000)
BaseballPark (2,500)
State Softball Centre
State Equestrian Centre (2,000)
Midvale SpeedDome (1,600) – although the future of the SpeedDome is subject to review.

Indoor stadium

Up to 1,500

Netball, basketball, volleyball, badminton, 2nd tier sports events

State Netball Centre, Loftus Centre, Kingsway and various other venues which primarily provide for state level competition.

Indoor or covered outdoor stadium for swimming


Swimming and other pool-based water sports

Challenge Stadium. Currently not capable of providing for national or International accredited events.

Outdoor stadium


Cricket, major community events (capable of hosting rubgy, soccer)

WACA (10,000–15,000) Stadia in private ownership for first class cricket and international matches.

Analysis of facility requirements

The outputs from the research identified a number of facilities which were in need of modernisation, improvement or replacement. The analysis identified the following facility requirements which may be split into major and minor capital investment and business case and feasibility development. Each element is identified as follows:

High priority:

Essential and immediate requirement to facilitate bidding for significant national and international events like the Commonwealth Games, V8 Supercars and Hopman Cup.

Medium priority:

Essential requirement to facilitate bidding for secondary national and international events of significance to the sport or long-term opportunity for bidding for a significant national and international event.

Low priority:

Non-essential requirement to facilitate bidding for national and international event of significance to the sport.

The key priorities can be summarised as follows:

Business case and feasibility development



State Tennis Centre
Potential relocation within the Burswood Peninsula.

The State Tennis Centre will remain in its current location in the short to medium term.

Challenge Stadium
Feasibility study to determine the most appropriate location and alignment for a replacement pool to FINA accreditation standards.

Changes in national and international event specifications has rendered the existing facility obsolete. The lack of a FINA accredited 50m pool will inhibit the growth of the sport.

Midvale SpeedDome
Further investigation into the potential relocation of the facility in 2017.

The current facility is sound, however the track is coming to the end of its useful life. The track has undergone minor refurbishment. Further investment is required to address water leakage in the roof structure. Alternative site options are costly but assessing the viability of a replacement is appropriate at this time.

Subiaco Oval(Patersons Stadium) redevelopment
Master plan

The future of Subiaco Oval (Patersons Stadium) is uncertain. Investment will be required to determine the most appropriate use once AFL fixtures relocate to the new Perth Stadium in 2018.

WACA Ground
Internal master planning is currently being undertaken to guide future development.

The future of the WACA Ground needs a clear plan and rationale.

Perth Hockey Stadium
Undertake feasibility study and master plan for the potential redevelopment of the State Hockey facility.

Current lease runs out in seven years and there is a need to re-assess the opportunities at the Curtin University site.

Site investigation to identify suitable land with sustainable tenure to use as a competition venue and a community resource.

The current lack of off-road provision will need to be addressed. The potential to generate national and international events will assist in the long term viability of such a facility.

Wheelchair sports
The need to determine whether an annual subsidy for Wheelchair Sports WA Association would be viable to ensure that sufficient access is provided for state, national and international competition venues.

It is important to ensure access is provided for wheelchair sports participants and that financial costs are not too prohibitive.

Investment into media and corporate hospitality area.

Will enhance the media and spectator experience and raise the profile of the facility.

Western Australian Shooting Association
Undertaking a dilapidation survey of the Whiteman Park site to identify requirements to secure the long term future of the infrastructure.

Strategic asset management planning intended to result in the current obligations and associated building issues being addressed.

Squash Rackets to develop an asset management plan and identify ongoing investment is essential.

Strategic asset management planning intended to result in these issues being addressed through the provision of additional funding.

Facility feasibility study to determine whether existing BMX infrastructure can accommodate national and international competition requirements.

With the growth in the sport promoted through its inclusion within the Olympics, opportunities could be investigated to bring an existing facility up to international standard specification within the metropolitan area.


Major capital investment



The new Perth Stadium

Current priority for State Government.
PDP completed in July 2012.

Barbagallo Raceway
Upgrade and redevelopment

Implementation of site review recommendations is essential to maintain the viability of the facility for national road races.

WAIS High Performance Service Centre

Currently in delivery.

State Netball Centre

Currently in delivery.

Challenge Stadium
Business case development and redevelopment to ensure stadium can accommodate national swimming championships and other events.

The lack of an adequately accredited 50m pool has meant that major national or international swimming events cannot be held in WA.

Relocation of ballistics sports relocation (small bore and long bore disciplines) from Swanbourne.

Feasibility study and business cases have been completed and the projects are now in the delivery stage. Clubs have been given notice to vacate the Swanbourne site.

Office accommodation
The development of the regional sports house model.

Previous priority. Will provide a cost–effective mechanism to bring sports together to share resources and infrastructure.

Perth Rectangular Stadium (nib Stadium)
Stage 1 and subsequent completion of full master plan subject to business case approval.

Stage 1 complete. Potential NRL franchise and ongoing use of facility by soccer and rugby union may necessitate further enhancements. Completion of master plan currently remains uncommitted.

State Equestrian Centre (SEC)
Facility upgrade and potential to incorporate other complimentary sports.

Future direction is to get more equestrian and non-equestrian events committed to the SEC.

Table tennis
Opportunity to develop a facility in partnership with other sports. Lathlain Park could potentially provide a solution.

Current plans have been agreed but not acted upon. The current facility is substandard and lack of available infrastructure with guaranteed access will inhibit the ability to run events.

Perth Hockey Stadium
Investment for replacement roof and increased storage areas.

Priority for investment. Aligns to the SSA’s strategic asset management plan.

Lawn bowls
Establishment of a State headquarters at an existing club.

A priority within previous plans which has not been progressed. Current office space is sufficient to meet needs, but preference is to locate at a facility which can accommodate.

A closed road circuit venue to support criterium and road racing and centre for bike education.

Potential opportunity in the medium to long term to attract national and international events.


Minor capital development



Ice hockey and ice skating
SSAs to enter into negotiations with commercial ice rink operators to secure required access. Possible assistance may be provided by the State.

Current legal impasse is impacting on the ability for ice sports to develop national and international level of activity.

Development of a new facility either in partnership with the commercial sector or within existing government controlled infrastructure.

Recently entered into a lease agreement at the Queens Park Recreation Centre. Condition assessment required before any investment by the State.

Minor upgrades to WA Polo Association ground to expand spectator accommodation.

Lack of spectator accommodation and supporting infrastructure.

Land banking for future sports facility growth

One of the main concerns with the development of new sporting infrastructure close to the Perth CBD is the lack of sufficient land to accommodate expanded or major new facilities. Opportunities do exist to set aside land for the future development without the need to enter into costly and time consuming compensatory disputes. A significant issue with the majority of sports is the development of infrastructure within a reasonable proximity to the CBD and on public transport links.

If land banking is to be pursued, it is essential to establish the correct legislative framework which minimises subsequent landowner claims related to a site’s potential value. Whilst the need for land banking to serve community level infrastructure is recognised through the planning process, there is no mechanism available to establish land banking to facilitate the development of sports facilities which may be used for national and international level competition. Ongoing liaison between DSR and the Department of Planning will be required to facilitate this process.

Funding the plan

One of the key challenges faced by the SSFP is the funding process to facilitate delivery of the plan. The current process involves allocation financial resources in accordance with facility developments identified in consultation with SSAs. The State Sporting Infrastructure Fund (SSIF) is allocated in line with a bidding process and investment is prioritised on a needs basis supported by a business case. A strategic planning process is undertaken for more significant investment bids where the Department of Treasury determine the appropriate information required for developing a business case for consideration as per the SAMF.

A variety of funding options have been identified through the consultation process. The assessment of an appropriate funding mechanism was based on the distribution of funds through a State Sporting Association as the prime beneficiaries of the investment. The potential solution to maximise investment and simplify the grant allocation process is to combine a process of:

  • An annual allocation to identified sports dedicated to asset management and/or investment in nominated facilities that host state, national and international level competitions $40–100k annual grant allocation in accordance with an approved asset management plan.
  • Investment dedicated to improving or redeveloping existing infrastructure in a pre-determined 5–10 year investment program.

An application process could be established with reference to:

  • Facilities recognised as providing infrastructure for national and international events which would be considered under the funding source.
  • Key funding criteria which would specifically include alignment to an asset management plan and prioritised funding via DSR.
  • A funding template to identify up to a 10-year investment program with specific references to areas of activity. This can then be aligned across sports to determine contracts which may be appropriately packaged.
  • The requirements of sports in developing an asset management plan with a 10-year prioritised investment stream incorporated.

This process would be applicable to those sports and facilities which are not managed and controlled by VenuesWest who will need to determine a more effective asset investment program through State Government.

DSR are committed to developing a fair and equitable process of distributing the SSFP grant allocation and will further develop this process.

Responsibilities of State Sporting Associations

SSAs vary significantly in their resourcing and capability to host and bid for national and international sporting events. Throughout the consultation process reference was made to the need to provide guidance to SSAs in respect of asset management, governance, fitness for purpose and fitness for funding. It must be stressed that much of this information is contained within supporting documentation published by DSR. These include:

  • Asset Management Guide
  • Life Cycle Cost Guidelines
  • Management Plan Guide
  • Facility Planning Guide
  • Feasibility Study Guide
  • Needs Assessment Guide.

To demonstrate organisational capability the governance structures established around a facilities operation and those of the SSA need to be open, honest and transparent. This includes the development of:

  • Appropriate governance and reporting structures.
  • A comprehensive financial planning and accounting process established.
  • A long term strategic plan.
  • Operational plan demonstrating compliance with legislative requirements.
  • Business plan.
  • Sports development plan.
  • Asset management plan.
  • A risk management plan.

DSR provides guidance to SSAs on the appropriate structures which need to be in place in order for the association to be considered as a viable and credible manager and/or owner of state sporting facility infrastructure. DSR are also working across states to develop a good governance framework for developing a consistent approach to the operations of SSAs.

These minimum requirements are to be endorsed nationally and it will therefore be important that SSAs work towards establishing these practices over time. This will complement the work currently being undertaken in a number of areas which SSAs are currently receiving support for, through the DSR sports consultants.

Role of State Government

The role of the State Government in supporting the development of facilities for national and state level competitions is fundamentally a strategic one and cuts across a number of State Government departments.

The State provides investment to ensure that facilities are of a high quality, well planned and deliver sustainable sporting infrastructure.

This encourages physical activity, supports high performance, provides community benefit and can attract national and international events that have a positive social and economic impact on the State.

This is a consistent approach that has underpinned the development of previous SSFP and is more acute today with the ever increasing demands on the State Budget. 
In undertaking this role DSR have recognised and adopted the business case parameters relevant to all State–funded projects as determined through Treasury guidance.


This document was prepared by:

David Lanfear of Davis Langdon on behalf of the Department of Sport and Recreation.

The State Sporting Faciities Plan Review Steering Committee included the following organisations:

  • Davis Langdon
  • Department of Sport and Recreation
  • Building Management and Works
  • Department of Treasury
  • Western Australia Sports Federation
  • VenuesWest
  • Hockey WA

Special thanks to the State Sporting Associations who participated in the survey and consultation process.

More information

Facilities Planning Coordinator
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Telephone 08 9492 9825
Facsimile 08 9492 9711
Email the department

November 2013

ISBN: 978-1-921648-37-3