At the request of the Department of Sport and Recreation and with the support of local government authorities, a number of major Western Australian sports, including TennisWest, are engaged in the development of strategic facility development plans.
This development is one part of the changes referred to by Western Australian Local Government Association President Bill Mitchell who observed: "achieving a sustainable system of local government may require structural reform which could include capital and human resource sharing, consolidation, boundary adjustments, developing alliances and changes to local government's legislative and regulatory operating environment." (West Australian, November 25, 2005).
TennisWest believes it has a custodian role in ensuring the development of all levels of tennis in Western Australia. Unlike local government authorities who are often demand-driven in developing resident facilities TennisWest seeks the flexibility to adopt a supply driven and proactive approach to facility provision. Ongoing communication between TennisWest and local government authorities will assist in balancing these differing approaches.
A clear focus for all stakeholders when planning for tennis facility provision should be on the needs of the player. This will be more easily achieved through recognition and use of the “ facilities planning triangle” which involves individual local government authorities, the Department of Sport and Recreation and TennisWest.
The following criteria are important factors in making decisions on the sustainability of existing tennis facilities, clubs and planning for new facilities:
- Planning framework
- Community engagement
- Extended community benefit
- Good governance
- Usage patterns.
TennisWest is of the view that the success and longevity of the affiliated club system suggests there's no duplication of club services from a geographic perspective. These clubs have been established as a result of expressed local demand.
The following categories of facilities applying to tennis are specified as:
Policies supporting collocation, and joint provision of facilities are detailed.
A total of nine additional TennisWest facilities are projected for the Perth Metropolitan Region. Some of these facilities might be developed by increasing the scale and quality of provision at existing public courts, negotiating the affiliation of an existing but non-affiliated club or alternatively by the construction of new facilities.
It's important to recognise that the readiness of a local government authority or TennisWest to plan and implement future tennis facility development must be based on open and frank discussions and a full, mutual understanding of each other’s expectations. This report is only the beginning.
Development and negotiation for TennisWest affiliate clubs should be pursued in the following Local Government Authority areas – Cockburn, Joondalup, Rockingham, Swan (2) and Wanneroo (4). This might be achieved through partnering a joint facility with a tertiary institution, approaching an existing non affiliated club or developing a new facility.
The Department for Planning should be advised of the worst case land provision scenario where 90,000sq meters of land would be required to accommodate new tennis facility development in the Perth metropolitan region over the next 10 years if no other facility strategies are successful. Land calculations are based the specifications of a “tennis optimum club” detailed in section 3.5 and nine such clubs being established.
A communication plan and implementation plan emphasize the importance and need for a cooperative approach between TennisWest and local government authorities and outlines strategies to progress this report.