New stadium the right option, Kobelke says
4th July 2007, 17:00 WST
WA needs to build a new 60,000-seat stadium if it hopes to attract major international sporting events, the state government says.
The government today indicated its preference for building a new sports stadium for Perth rather than redeveloping the current home of AFL in WA, Subiaco Oval - the option favoured by the WA Football Commission.
In May, a task force investigating options for new entertainment and sporting venue options recommended a new multi-purpose stadium with moveable seating be built at either Kitchener Park - next to Subiaco Oval - or at a new site east of the city.
The report said the stadium should be built within the next four to five years.
WA Sport Minister John Kobelke today said building a new stadium was clearly the most sensible option.
"Trying to redevelop, rebuild on the old Subiaco footprint is fraught with difficulties. You'd end up with, clearly, an inferior product," Mr Kobelke told reporters.
"You would get better value for money and a superior stadium if you can build a new one either at East Perth or at Kitchener Park.
"Then we have the opportunity to get international events here, whether it be rugby, whether it be a future international soccer games or whether it be potentially a Commonwealth Games sometime in the future.
"But we cannot really bid successfully for a range of those international events if we don't have a stadium of sufficient capacity and quality."
Mr Kobelke would not say when a stadium might be built by but that the government would have a clear plan on the issue by the next state election in 18 months' time.
But Opposition Leader Paul Omodei said that was too late.
"It should be built within five years," Mr Omodei said.
"The government should get on with the job ... there's no doubt the government has been tardy in making a decision."
Mr Kobelke said it was important to take the time to properly consult the different sports organisations that would use the stadium.
The WA Football Commission has said it still believes rebuilding Subiaco Oval is a better option, despite Mr Kobelke's comments.
Earlier today, Premier Alan Carpenter said the federal government should provide some of the funds for a new stadium.