Council updates Robertson Park Development Plan

Published on Tuesday, 27 September 2022 at 2:50:00 PM

The City of Vincent has taken a further step to transform Robertson Park into a more sustainable tennis precinct for local veterans and the next generation of superstars.

In 2021, Council adopted the Robertson Park Development Plan, which outlined improvements to the park and identified infrastructure upgrades that responded to community needs.

Key elements included more green space, introduction of netball and multi sports courts, a focus on Aboriginal heritage and increased fencing for safer dog exercise.

The plan will be delivered over several years as funding becomes available.

Stage One features new multi-sport courts, upgrades to the existing tennis precinct while Stage Two includes a new leisure park with picnic benches, a community garden and greening.

Tennis West, which currently lease Robertson Park’s tennis centre and sub-leases to a commercial operator, recently selected the site as its preferred venue for six clay courts in a bid to fulfill a shortfall of clay courts in the Perth metro area.

At the 20 September Ordinary Council Meeting, Council approved a minor amendment to the development plan to make way for the clay courts and a revised budget to allow for the development of a sustainable tennis centre.

The plan includes 18 green hard courts with six of those earmarked for clay courts, subject to Tennis West commitment and funding.

Council also agreed to submit a Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund application to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries to contribute to the implementation of the Tennis Centre proportion of the plan.

A $100,000 State election commitment grant from Member for Perth Hon. John Carey MLA for multi sports courts has been incorporated into the budget for detailed design work which has progressed.

Mayor Emma Cole said the minor amendments to the plan would future proof the Robertson Park tennis precinct and expand the type of courts for players of all ages.

“As part of the Public Open Space Strategy, we reviewed the use and condition of our tennis courts,” she said.

“By reducing the large number of grass tennis courts at Robertson Park, we will bring in more green space and introduce four multi-courts for a diverse range of sports, including much-needed training courts for local netball club the North Perth Dynamites.

“I am looking forward to seeing the renewal of the 18 green hard courts in the coming months which will provide a fantastic standard for training and community use.”

Ms Cole said Vincent would continue to work with Tennis West on the future of Robertson Park tennis precinct and explore their proposal for six clay courts.

“Having a diversity of courts at Robertson Park extends the appeal for people to come to Robertson Park to enjoy tennis, netball and basketball. The clay courts provide a point of difference but were not previously considered due to higher implementation and ongoing maintenance costs,” she said.

“With the interest from Tennis West to fund, construct and maintain the six clay courts we’d love to take up this opportunity. Clay courts provide a great option for young players who aspire to be the next Ash Barty and older players as the cooler surface is softer on the knees.

“If Tennis West decide to go ahead with the clay courts at Robertson Park, they will be available for community use outside of training hours.”

Tennis West CEO Brett Patten said Tennis West was excited to have clay courts available for junior and pro players to train on year round, to support their development to challenge on the world stage.

“The community will also have the opportunity to play on this unique surface that is easier on the body and plays 10-15 degrees cooler than a traditional hard court,” he said.

“Tennis West will continue working closely with the City of Vincent and are supportive of their plans for the entire redevelopment of Robertson Park.”

Tennis West President Rod Van said Tennis West undertook an extensive, detailed and robust process with four tennis venues, before arriving at the decision on Robertson Park as Tennis West’s preferred venue for clay courts.

“We thank the work of the other venues, the independent panel who lead the assessments, our board, working group and Tennis West staff who have assisted us to this point, where we are now in negotiations with the City of Vincent,” he said.

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