The department will be closed from Wednesday 27 December 2023 to Monday 1 January 2024. We will respond to queries in the New Year. Best wishes for a safe and happy festive season.
The State Sporting Infrastructure Plan (SSIP, previously the State Sporting Facilities Plan) has been developed by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) to serve as forward planning for the provision of infrastructure
to service State, National and International level sporting competition.
The plan is regularly reviewed to maintain relevancy given the changing requirements and demands of sport. The last significant review occurred in 2013 and was a result of significant changes in sporting infrastructure. The review prioritised major
and minor capital investments through consultation with State Sporting Associations (SSAs) and highlighted the need for a structured funding framework supported by the development of Strategic Asset Management Plans. The framework supports infrastructure
planning and development over the next 10 years and the planning principles of the SSIP are consistent with the Strategic Asset Management Framework (SAMF)
The plan has therefore been reviewed with the following objectives in mind:
Sporting infrastructure investment is an important component of sporting system that enables value to be generated through activity, participation, volunteering and attendance. Studies investigating the value of sports and recreation have highlighted:
Sport exists within a competitive environment and has an advantage of producing positive impacts while being locally based. The impact of sporting activity is felt by every participant and is therefore transferred throughout society and the local
economy. Key benefits of participation in sport are known to be4:
The broader industry value, and socio-economic benefits of sports participation, provides the strategic context for government support of State Sporting Infrastructure. Sports face a significant challenge in maintaining and increasing overall rates of
participation given competition from other activities. In providing funding support for infrastructure the State considers the financial capacity of sports to self-fund major facilities. More broadly, there is an increasing need for the industry to
improve its competitiveness, attract more participants, and demonstrate the value generated through this investment for the community. Government support is therefore being tailored to incentivise innovation in the industry, creating an improved offering
for current and future sport and recreation participants, while improving the financial sustainability and future strength of the industry.
The sport system comprises a range of activities. At one end of this range is community level activity, typically supported through clubs, schools and smaller private organisations. At the other is state, national and international high-performance training
and competition. State Sporting Infrastructure provides the capacity for high-performance sports activity and therefore play an important role in providing a pathway for Western Australian athletes to train and compete in state, national and international
competitions. In doing so, they form an important part of the local sporting system.
The design and competition standards of State Sporting Infrastructure are high, as mandated by sporting bodies for national and international competition. A smart approach to facility design and operation can enable flexibility of use and higher rates
of utilisation across the spectrum of activity. High rates of utilisation are the key for achieving value from the State’s investment. Ongoing collaborative efforts are required to ensure that facilities are designed, upgraded and operated in
a manner that maximise their benefit to all Western Australians.
A range of sporting performance, financial and socio-economic outcomes should be considered in the operation and management of facilities.
The role of State Sporting Infrastructure provision and operation is therefore to:
Figure 1 outlines how State Sporting infrastructure fits into the broader sporting system, providing a pathway for participation and a means of supporting the ongoing viability and growth of Western Australian sport.
Figure 1. The Role of State Sporting Infrastructure
The construction and use of State Sporting Infrastructure can have a positive and long-lasting impact on the state. The impact of State Sporting Infrastructure is influenced by how they are managed and by the objectives assigned to them. Objectives are
set by government with funding support being targeted to help ensure these objectives are achieved. Achievement of these objectives creates positive impacts within the society and economy. Figure 2 illustrates the objectives associated with State
Sporting Facilities and the associated impacts.
Figure 2. Objectives and Impacts of State Sporting Infrastructure
Impacts are the effect of a combination of objectives being achieved, for instance, ‘providing a compelling events schedule, supporting the growth of the Western Australian sporting industry’ contributes to state-wide employment creation and
Gross State Product (GSP).
Governing the use and purpose of State Sporting Facilities are the overarching SSIP principles, objectives and broader State Government Policy.
Policy addresses the intent of an organisation, it clearly specifies the desired results from the activities it undertakes. Both national and state level policy have a number of objectives that will be in alignment with the existing objectives and potential
new objectives of the SSIP. This alignment is necessary to ensure that, at the highest level, both state and national goals are achieved and that the objectives of plans such as the SSIP align with the overall objectives of government.
The principles outlined below represent good practice and have been embedded into the operation of State Sporting Infrastructure
The SSIP is governed by a set of guiding principles that reflect how facilities are assigned priority, how they are funded and the attributes that should be prioritised. These are:
The framework has a number of objectives that govern how funding related to the SSIP is distributed, how infrastructure is prioritised, and the standards under which it is built. These are:
In the National sport plan, Sport 2030, the Australian Government articulates a clear and bold vision for sport in Australia — to ensure Australia is the world’s most active and healthy nation, known for integrity and sporting success.
The plan acknowledges that success will only be achieved with greater collaboration between industry, government and community.
The plan aims to build a more active Australia and reduce inactivity amongst Australians by 15 per cent by 2030. Areas of focus include:
The SSIP will play an integral role in ensuring that these focus areas can be achieved by providing appropriate pathways for participation in sports.
Our Priorities is the Western Australian Government’s response to the challenges faced by the Western Australian community and in unlocking the state’s full economic, social and environmental potential. As a statement of intent, it aims to
guide continuous improvement in Government and lays out a set of ambitious whole-of-government targets. Under the statement, measurable targets have been established for the following priorities:5
The provision and sound operation of sporting infrastructure is an important lever for achieving our whole-of-government objectives and it will be important for the industry to demonstrate and communicate the impact of State Sporting Infrastructure in
these identified areas.
‘Liveability’ is defined as the qualities of a place that contribute to the quality of life experienced by residents and others. Perceptions of liveability are largely determined by the condition of the ‘public’ space –
those places where people interact with each other and the broader community.
Departmental goals relevant to the SSIP aimed at supporting better places, safer communities, maximising participation and enhancing experiences include:
The creative, sport and hospitality industries contribute to Western Australia’s economic growth and create jobs.
The department has a role to play in ensuring that the Western Australian economy maximises its opportunities for growth through the sport, recreation, hospitality, racing, gaming and creative industries sectors. Department objectives relevant to the
Sport is an important element of Western Australian culture. It is through sports that communities can unite and participate at a competitive level. Sport plays a significant role in contributing to the establishment of identity and to the development
of positive role models for young people. Sport plays a unique role in the health system, contributing positively to both physical and mental health and well-being which results in a reduced burden on the health sector. Further, sport is recognised
as a fundamental contributor to the justice system through diversionary activities, especially for at-risk youth.
Through building capacity and capability, the department supports individuals and organisations to obtain, improve, and retain the skills, knowledge, tools, equipment and other resources needed to do their jobs competently or to a greater capacity.
This helps to provide larger scale, more diverse offerings, larger audiences and greater impact.
The department supports capacity and capability development in sport and recreation and culture and the arts, in addition to its Aboriginal and multicultural programs as well as through local government. Actions relevant to the SSIP include:
State level strategic planning documents that influence the department’s development of infrastructure and thus the SSIP include:
The strategy6 advocates that one of the key challenges for the future development of the state is the recognition and investment in cultural tourism (the arts, sports, cultural history and heritage). An objective of the plan is to ensure
sustainable supply, use and development of land.
The Government’s Strategic Asset Management Framework provides the context for allocating resources for cultural events, sports and recreation grounds and open spaces.
A strategic approach to tourism advocates that the State’s tourist attractions are highly accessible. A strategic approach to health and wellbeing seeks to provide direct and safe access to health facilities, cultural events, social support networks,
sport and recreation activities and public open spaces.
recognises the benefits of a more consolidated city while working from historic patterns of urban growth. Importantly, the framework sets achievable goals that will promote housing affordability over the longer term. Directions 2031 addresses urban
growth needs and takes the need to protect our natural ecosystems into consideration.
The framework provides for different lifestyle choices, vibrant nodes for economic and social activity and a more sustainable urban transport network. The framework will also encourage a long-term approach to the provision of infrastructure in an economically
Planning for this growth, with a goal to successfully deliver an increased focus on vibrant nodes for economic and social activity will require increased attention to the importance of culture, art and sport and recreation provision. It will also be important
to plan for increased vibrancy through hospitality and cultural diversity. This is relevant for the SSIP as it identifies new ways to plan State Sporting Infrastructure as part of vibrant economic and social nodes.
The draft Green Growth Plan aims to integrate environmental protection and land use planning and is based on the largest urban-based environmental assessment ever undertaken in Australia. It has allowed the cumulative environmental impacts of growth to
3.5 million people to be considered and minimised at an early stage and will deliver a long term and comprehensive program of conservation actions at a landscape scale.
The draft Green Growth Plan aims to provide certainty in relation to the environmental outcomes that will be delivered, the areas where development can be contemplated and the environmental obligations that will apply in terms of avoidance, mitigation
and conservation actions.
This is important to the department as tracts of environmentally sensitive land have notionally been identified across the Perth and Peel region. In some circumstances, the identified land coincides with land identified as being of cultural significance.
Conversely, areas previously identified and zoned as being for recreational purposes are now identified as having higher environmental value.
It should be noted that at the time of writing the Green Growth Plan was undergoing an independent review that is expected to be completed in mid-2019. As such, it is subject to change.
With anticipated population and job growth within the Perth and Peel regions, additional pressure will be placed on the transport network. This document highlights the range of strategies required to alleviate road congestion such as the appropriate management,
upgrading and offering of feasible public transport options which can:
The development of METRONET and related activity centres provide an opportunity to ensure integrated land use planning within a transport hub context required for its successful activation. This activation includes a range of services and facilities that
also reflect formal and informal cultural, artistic, sporting and recreational uses within the hub precinct.
Planning for cultural, sporting and recreational facilities and activities close to integrated METRONET and transport hubs enhances the extended use of public transport for the users of those facilities resulting in improved accessibility.
The Stadium Hierarchy model has been designed to cater for a number of different sporting formats and changing spectator demand. The updated stadium hierarchy model below recognises the commercial realities of sports in which attendance levels have increased.
The model ensures that sports can take advantage of this increase in attendance and supports the provision of required new and upgraded infrastructure. The model will be continually assessed against the needs of sports, with a number of priority facilities
having been identified for further investigation in collaboration with SSAs (see Section 4.1 Current Forward Planning).
Figure 3. Stadium Hierarchy Model
* Proposed facility subject to review
Responsibility for the governance and management of State Sporting Facilities is distributed between the State Government (through Venues West), local governments, SSAs and private organisations on a case-by-case basis. Owners and operators of State Sporting
Facilities are required to develop an Asset Management Plan (AMP). Planning is supported by DLGSC where appropriate and includes detailed investigation of the required capital and recurrent investment in the infrastructure.
Supporting documentation provided by DLGSC to support facility planning include (amongst others):
The development of AMPs, in particular, allows for the responsible allocation of resources given the maintenance requirements of facilities, forward planning of funding support and assessment of new facilities or facility upgrades. Similarly, planning
for major new facilities should incorporate a sound understanding of the impact on the financial sustainability of SSAs and other relevant bodies.
Introduced in 2006, the State Sporting Infrastructure Fund (SSIF) supports the implementation of the SSIP and provides assistance for the construction, maintenance and upgrade of non-VenuesWest State Sporting Facilities. It’s stated aims are:
Governance bodies are expected to understand and budget for facility maintenance, repairs and upgrades. The SSIF provides a supporting mechanism to ensure that particular needs can be met where they fall outside of the capacity of the responsible party.
Recent investigations have shown that the current funding level of $2 million per annum caters for approximately 25%8 of ongoing facility requirements, exclusive of Venues West governed and managed facilities and major upgrade works. Ongoing
consultation has highlighted that particular SSAs are likely to come under increasing funding pressure. The SSIF will therefore be continually reviewed in conjunction with the provision of organisational development support to improve facility management
approaches and the overall financial sustainability of sports.
The changing trends in sports provides important context for the State Sporting Infrastructure Plan. Changes in participation and attendance provide much needed information for future iterations of the plan over the long-term. Changes in observed trends
may necessitate a change in the focus of future facility construction either in terms of attendance capacity, the number of playing environments procured per facility, or the associated ancillary facilities.
Analysis of trends is required to identify changes in the sporting environment that are misaligned with government objectives or represent specific problems and opportunities. Changes can subsequently be made to exploit these opportunities or to minimise
negative effects. This could include investment in the construction of facilities to support video streaming or those supporting more fluid types of competition to fit in with participants busy lifestyles. Monitoring of these long-term trends is essential
to inform future facility planning and ensure that State Government objectives are met.
Figure 4 summarises the major trends that are affecting the use of sporting facilities. These trends are likely to influence the demand, access and use of sporting facilities governed in the State Sporting Infrastructure Plan now and into the future.
Figure 4. Major Sporting Trends
Source: Pracsys 2018, Australia Sports Commission “Connecting Digital and Technology with Australia’s Competitive Sport Obsession” 2013, CSIRO “The Future of Australian Sport” 2013, BCG “Intergenerational Review of
Australian Sport” 2017, Slater and Tiggermann 2010
Given these trends, and their respective implications, there are three major themes that can be identified:
Effectively responding to these themes will ensure that a healthier sporting industry is created that better serves to achieve State Government objectives. This is further explored in Section 4.4.
Overall participation rates in organised sport and the demand for high-performance activity supported by State Sport Sporting Infrastructure are important considerations for future planning. AusPlay data showing broad-base (both community and high performance)
venue use in various sporting codes between 2015-16 and 2017-18 is illustrated in Figure 5. The trend in venue use is almost universally down across the most popular sports, however as a short-term trend these results require further monitoring.
Figure 5. Western Australian Organised Sport Venue Use by Activity
Source: AusPlay WA Data Tables
On a national scale Roy Morgan Statistics show that total participation in organised sport is down 7% between 2001 and 2016, from 4.2 million to 3.9 million participants. This is a significant per capita fall when considered against an increase of approximately
5 million persons in population over the same period.9
Despite overall falling participation in organised sport, memberships in SSAs have recorded a rise from 2014-15 levels to 2016-17 levels in Western Australia (Figure 6). There has been growth of almost 110,000 members, which indicates an increase of patronage
however levels of activity generated are unclear.
Figure 6. Organised Sport Participation — SSA Memberships
Source: DLGSC, SSAs
The results highlight the importance of ongoing case-by-case needs assessment, currently required for major upgrades or new facilities. Overall, the availability of centralised data for the utilisation of State Sporting infrastructure is low. An understanding
of the role of State Facilities, and how they are used by both SSAs and the general public, is reliant on this data as it informs the appropriate level and standard of facility provision. Given this, implementing processes to collect and use venue-specific
data in a structured decision-making framework is an important step in strengthening the local sporting industry.
Consultation was undertaken to provide an industry perspective regarding current trends, issues and future facility requirements. This approach was used to identify factors that could influence future facility planning and informed the development of
implementation strategies that are aligned to State and National objectives.
The consultation method sought to provide a balance between reach across the range of SSAs, opportunity to provide feedback and the detail of information collected. As such, it was important that all SSAs were given the opportunity to provide feedback
while also collecting the detailed information required to update the SSIP and provide recommendations for the State Sporting environment in Western Australia.
Consultation methods are typically qualitative or quantitative and when used together form a complementary dataset containing anecdotal and opinion-based information together with numerical and comparable data. A combination of these methods was used
to extract the best information possible.
The following methods were used to assist with the collection of data:
Figure 7 outlines current major forward planning works as determined and reported by State Sporting Associations (SSAs) and stakeholders. Timeframes have been assigned to indicate the current level of need. Further planning and business cases will be
required to be developed with the support of DLGSC to investigate opportunities for co-location, facility viability and position within the Stadium Hierarchy Model given the demand for high-performance activity and ability to attract major events.
Figure 7. Forward Planning of Facilities
Timeframes refer to the following;
A key outcome from consultation was that the majority of State Sporting Associations that responded to the survey are bidding for events. Despite this, facility standards, lack of access, cost and State Government investment in events (through tourism)
were flagged as possible issues for event bidding. Some of these issues could be solved through coordination between relevant stakeholders.
Consultation has also revealed that many facilities have a significant portion of community use and local competition. Larger facilities tend to be used as cultural and event hubs, while smaller tender to be driven through utilisation by the community
and local sports. Given this, strategic decision making and facility planning is required to achieve successful mix of attractive major events hubs and other State Sporting Infrastructure that are supported by a mix of high-performance and broad-base
community or commercial use.
The following problem and opportunity statements outline issues within the current State Sporting system that were highlighted through the review and consultation process.
Access: A lack of access to facilities, or sub-standard facilities, can impact the ability of particular sports to bid for, and host, large national or international events. This in turn can affect sporting viability and athlete benchmarking or
performance on a national or international scale.
Tenure: In some instances, land tenure creates uncertainty over the future of facilities and impacts the ability to make long-term strategic investments. This can be a problem particularly when considering the significant investment required to
make shared facilities.
Resources: There is a wide disparity in resource capacity between various sports, with broad-base, high viewership sports receiving the most commercial revenue. Sports with lower inherent levels of commercial opportunity face the risk of further
declines in participation due to their low levels of resourcing and exposure. A lower diversity in sports offerings is likely to have a negative impact on participation rates.
Planning: State sporting facilities present a challenge for fiscal management, as they incur significant ongoing operation and maintenance costs. Ongoing funding requirements for operation and maintenance are significant and may not always be factored
into long term financial planning to the detriment of all levels of activity. Repairs and maintenance are often reactive, further impacting operating costs and facility life. Prudent financial planning of facilities should consider avenues for revenue
generation and operational cost savings.
Technology: Technology is rapidly changing the way people view sporting events, with digital streaming becoming increasingly prevalent. This trend has the effect of levelling the playing field between sports, offering cost effective access to commercial
income and viewership. Sports with lower rates of commercialisation should aggressively pursue innovative ways to increase their exposure and ability to capture commercial revenue, such as advertising and sponsorship.
Transport and Connectivity: Perth is becoming increasingly connected. New direct international flights provide the opportunity to further connect with local and international target markets. Projects such as METRONET are also improving local transport
links to the broader Metropolitan Area. These developments provide increased opportunities to host international competitions, demonstration events and off-season training, as well as drive the creation of sporting venues as wider integrated cultural
hubs (see below)
Tourism: Sport and sporting facilities play an important role in attracting tourist visitation through sports, cultural and entertainment events. There is an opportunity to further partner with tourism bodies and private partners to coordinate
strategic objectives, facility planning and marketing drives. In broader terms, there is scope for a vastly expanded events strategy that incorporates multiple departments across Western Australia as well as across state borders to exploit complimentary
opportunities with a joint sport tourism approach.
Cultural Hubs: Sport is arguably Australia’s most popular cultural past-time and there is a significant opportunity to create integrated cultural hubs or precincts that provide both efficient use of shared facilities and offer a wider variety
of cultural and entertainment offerings, further integrating sport into our local way of life. Facility provision therefore requires continued integration with broader strategic planning and local government planning processes.
Each of the identified problems and opportunities fall into one of three broad categories:
The key levers available for the improving the impact of State Sporting Facilities on the Western Australian sports industry are therefore:
Government funding allocations should be more transparent, be linked to clear targeted outcomes and should incentivise the leveraging of funding and expansion of the total available funding pool. This will require alignment with both government
objectives and commercial opportunities for investment.
Continuing opportunities for reducing duplication across infrastructure are evident given the number of facilities that are operated as single use facilities despite their capability to host multiple sports. There is general agreement from sporting
bodies that shared facilities help improve ongoing financial sustainability, which is the key issue facing the long-term success of many sports. There may also be further opportunity for shared facilities that co-locate based on ancillary
infrastructure as opposed to playing surfaces. As such, efficient spending encompasses the need to plan and make decisions in alignment with other stakeholders. This will require an increased level of inter-agency cooperation between government
departments, sporting bodies and, potentially, private operators. The efficient use of funding encompasses the need for sports co-location, a coordinated events strategy, planned infrastructure provision and facility management. This approach
is consistent with the development of sporting hubs that are integrated with public transport, cultural and commercial activities.
The ability to fund infrastructure in a fair, efficient and equitable way is an important outcome. The review process has indicated that changes to the current funding model may achieve better outcomes with the limited funding available. Predominantly,
there is a need and an opportunity for the current funding paradigm to drive the clear achievement government goals and objectives, grow the funding pool and assist in SSAs in servicing infrastructure.
The funding options assessed included:
The SSIF is currently allocated on an annual basis in accordance with Asset Maintenance Plans and completed business cases. A shortfall of funding availability prevents the SSIF from delivering optimal outcomes for sports when relied upon heavily. Key
issues associated with the current model are:
Given the current level of available funding, the SSIF operates as an efficient method of addressing the various urgent needs of SSAs in maintaining the serviceability and increasing the utilisation of their facilities. It’s core issues stem from
its inability to provide the funding certainty required to support larger or longer-term projects that achieve higher impact for both sporting bodies and the State.
Multicriteria analysis (MCA) has been undertaken to assess a range of potential funding models for efficacy. The MCA criteria are intended to reflect the overall aims of government and the ability for each funding model to deliver optimal outcomes for
DLGSC and the overall sporting environment.
Figure 8. Multicriteria Analysis Criteria
Figure 9. Multi Criteria Analysis Results
Under the current model, the objectives of the department’s support in facility investigation, design and funding are clearly communicated and incorporated into SSIF allocation decision making,and seek to increase the efficiency of facility operation
while providing for increased utilisation and participation. The review concluded that there is an opportunity to investigate gradual changes to the current model involving a more formalised approach to outcomes measurement and funding distribution,
providing the ability to clearly demonstrate the value achieved by sporting bodies as a result of State Government support. Larger projects with higher levels of commerciality warrant further in-depth investigation of the preferred funding mechanism.
Potential outcomes measurement mechanisms will be investigated with a view to streamlining processes and ensuring that the administration burden is not increased for SSAs and other effected sporting bodies.
The ‘age of data’ has made demonstration of funding outcomes more viable and cost-effective. Significant amounts of data can be collected easily, and new technologies ensure that increasingly detailed data can be collected efficiently. In
an outcomes-based funding system, this data is used to quantify the value and impact that funding generates as well as providing a feedback loop informing continuous improvement efforts. When this ability to track and collect data is combined with
clear, defined policy objectives, and a transparent acquittals process, a powerful incentive structure is created for achieving improved outcomes for all.
Figure 10. Outcomes Measurement Feedback Loop
Source: Pracsys 2018
This approach recognises that there is an inherent link between the capacity and standard of facilities and the ability to support training, competition and events, all of which can be measured as outcomes. A well planned and operated facility will achieve
high levels of utilisation, attract major events and provide avenues for revenue generation for SSAs.
Figure 10 captures the building blocks of this system, each step in this feedback loop works to achieve state pre-defined State Government and broader sporting outcomes, encompassing policy, measurement definitions and the acquittals process. Value and
measurement definitions (outcomes) act as the link between policy and funding distribution, with impact and value of outcomes achieved influencing portfolio balance and demonstrating achievement of policy outcomes. In an outcomes based system, a clear
link is established between funding, resulting impacts and value-for-money (Figure 11).
Figure 11. Policy Hierarchy
Source: Pracsys (2018)
The development of evidence-based outcomes enables alignment with external funding objectives. By illustrating this alignment with external objectives, SSAs will be better positioned to access external funding pools as they arise, such as Federal funding
or private partnerships. Importantly, this strategic alignment ensures that funder and applicant actions and goals are aligned, and government objectives are achieved rather than a narrow focus on internal organisation pursuits.
Outcomes based funding frameworks allow for value demonstration in a way not achievable by other funding models. The additional quantification and achievement of outcomes means that a clear link between outcomes and financial value can be demonstrated.
The objectives below have been formed to improve Western Australia’s ability to develop high performance athletes and host events for the benefit of the state’s sporting industry and broader community.
Objectives should directly relate to measurable outcomes and overarching impacts for Western Australia. An example framework for translating objectives into outcomes and impacts is provided below.
Figure 12. Example Objectives, Outcomes and Impacts
Governing bodies and those utilising State Sporting Facilities have a responsibility to demonstrate how they are effectively using public funding and how they are planning to increase the value generated from facilities in the future.
Measuring objectives, outcomes and ultimate impact will require data collection. DLGSC acknowledges the need to minimise the reporting burden on SSAs and will investigate practical methods of monitoring and reporting the impacts of Western Australia’s
State Sporting Facilities using existing information and processes where-ever possible.
A comprehensive understanding of the value of State Sporting Facilities has two significant benefits:
Financial sustainability is a function of costs and revenues. Opportunities for financial sustainability ultimately come from increasing revenues, decreasing costs or a combination of both. These opportunities can be initiated through the management of
infrastructure or through the operation of the SSAs themselves. Given this, the key to financial sustainability and de-risking operations is diversification of funding and reducing the costs that need to be serviced. When these goals are achieved,
the total pool of funding available for productive investment will be maximised, leading to better outcomes for sports.
Figure 13. Financial Sustainability
Figure 13 illustrates the various options open to SSAs and DLGSC in improving the financial sustainability. Some of these are more realistic than others and many will require the assistance of DLGSC to implement.
One of the core issues identified through the consultation and review process has been that of missed opportunities for both operational efficiencies and secondary revenue generation. These include:
Events allocation practices have recently shifted toward competitive tendering. This has the effect of pitting the states against each other in a bid to attract competitions when they are a significant funder of sport. This can lead to a fundamentally
unsustainable system that is designed to extract the maximum amount of public monies on a typically unprofitable sector. Rotational tenders allow for efficient use of money by promoting functional and value based spending. Given this, DLGSC should
lobby for the return of rotational event tendering, given the efficient use of spending that it promotes. Alternatively, substitute events could be pursued, through a shift in event bidding strategy.
Following from the above, there is a need for a strategic shift in how events are targeted and bid for due to a shift away from rotational tendering. Western Australian sport can exploit its natural advantages to achieve the greatest return on its asset
base. Policy that supports the creation and development of sporting events that are not in direct competition with events in the East Coast, and instead focuses on Western Australia’s innate advantage in its proximity to the Indian Ocean Rim
and Asia should be pursued. This will require a coordinated approach across government agencies and SSAs to build events attraction strategies. This has the following advantages:
Any shift in events bidding should coincide with developing a specific events strategy. The events strategy should incorporate multiple agencies including tourism so that coordination can be achieved and marketing money spent in an efficient targeted
way to leverage the most advantage and best outcomes.
This shift in event strategy is already underway. The department is currently investigating the feasibility of the DLGSC Mid-Tier Funding Program. The DLGSC Mid-Tier Event Funding Program could provide a mechanism for organisations in WA to receive financial
support to secure and host mid-tier sport and recreation events in both metropolitan and regional areas. Mid-tier events are those defined as events that do not achieve the significant media and tourism impacts required to satisfy the criteria for
Major/Regional Events Funding through Tourism WA. The program aims to achieve the following objectives:
The opportunity to group facilities to share common infrastructure was identified in consultation as a necessary step for financial sustainability. Shared facilities drive a number of operational benefits including:
Continued implementation of a shared facilities model requires ongoing forward planning and collaboration between sporting bodies. Despite potential facility management challenges, shared facilities provide SSAs with opportunities to improve the financial
sustainability of their operations. A coordinated approach that combines various sports and other commercial opportunities will achieve the greatest cost efficiencies. The planning process must consider land requirements given the size of such facility
Figure 14. Shared Facility Identification Process
The Department’s business case development process is used to properly ascertain the possibilities for shared facility arrangements. These shared sporting facilities may be best placed as part of wider cultural hubs (land permitting) to further
drive commercial opportunities through activation.
Strategic shifts in the way infrastructure is developed will likely necessitate the need for land banking for strategic reasons. Shared facilities, particularly those that incorporate multiple playing environments, are likely to require large land footprints.
This will need to be combined with good transport accessibility to service large SSA catchments. Land banking will be a necessity to enable future cost savings and operational improvements.
Planning for land banking will need to be accommodated with appropriate legislative frameworks that minimise claims against value of the site. Government landholdings and other possible site locations that would be able to hold and accommodate sporting
precincts would need to be considered in a business case process. This process should be integrated with that of developing shared facilities given the nature of infrastructure and land. This process is identified in Figure 15.
Figure 15. Land Banking Process
This may include utilising regional open space identified in Perth and Peel@3.5 million (for appropriate sports). This assessment of land parcels and costs and benefits should be undertaken as part of a broader business case process that considers all
viable land acquisition scenarios as part of an options analysis process. Importantly, this process should consider all supporting infrastructure instead of the facility and land parcel in isolation. This will require a collaborative approach.
In general, any approach to land banking should be a collaborative exercise between multiple agencies, from identifying the correct parcel of land, to ensuring that it is serviced with the correct infrastructure and fits into government aims.
Land banking will be integral in ensuring that any shared facility initiatives are optimal for the needs of the sport and for the success of the facility. Locations with transport accessibility will facilitate the success of facilities minimising their
financial burden on the state.
Crowdfunding, Sponsorship and philanthropy is a viable avenue for funding in sports, these opportunities are often underrepresented in smaller sports owing to a lack of expertise in identifying, pursuing and negotiating these opportunities. Likewise,
crowdfunding gives the public an opportunity to fund and implement something they support and want to happen. These strategies can inject significant financial resources into SSAs.
Sponsorship is something that smaller sports often have difficulty setting up and often believe that they are too small to receive. This is often not the case as advertisers and potential sponsors are looking for multiple avenues to promote their brand,
often stretching across multiple uses and prospects, ways that these opportunities can be incorporated are shown in Figure 16.
Figure 16. Sponsorship Strategy
It is important that proposed funding amounts should be realistic and often small, sponsorship should be viewed as supplementary funding rather than all-inclusive and a way of diversifying and deepening funding sources and revenues.
Crowdfunding works similarly to sponsorship and philanthropic endeavours but typically covers once off payments for specific initiatives. Funding targets can include a core goal as well as “stretch” goals, stretch goals are superfluous to
the core goal and are “nice to haves” if funding exceeds expectations. As crowdfunding relies on the public to donate they typically need to be linked to something that the public wants to support. It differs from traditional fundraising
as it requires a target to be set and achieved for the funding to be realised. Additional incentive structures must be built into the crowdfunding to entice those to fund, but it offers an entirely new audience to typical fundraising channels and
hence a completely new source of revenue for sports. They operate best once a digital strategy has been implemented and the sport has an online and digital presence that it can leverage.
Crowdfunding will need human resources, likely volunteers, to complete the necessary tasks, these are shown in Figure 17.
Figure 17. Crowdfunding Process
Trust is paramount in crowd funding and any breach of trust and mismanagement of publicly donated funds will sacrifice significant goodwill. Proper implementation of a crowdfunding strategy will enable many events and opportunities to be funded, potentially
increasing revenues and sporting participation for SSAs.
Sports have traditionally been slow in the uptake and development of digital strategies. Most sports are well behind other competing forms of entertainment with only the larger sports embracing digital strategies.
Figure 18. digital strategy
Western Australian sporting organisations of all forms can benefit from increased utilisation and uptake of digital channels, emerging sports and sports broadcasting technologies, and engagement opportunities. These new opportunities and technologies
(Figure 18) open up new opportunities for infrastructure utilisation, revenue generation, sponsor value, improved customer experience and pathways to achieve sporting objectives such as increased fan engagement, participation and awareness. The increase
in communication channels and broader engagement with audiences offers new opportunities to increase viewership, participation and ultimately link in with revenue generating strategies such as higher participation (fees), event revenue, broadcasting
deals, sponsorships and crowdfunding.
The expanding list of sports delivery mechanisms to viewers represents a growing opportunity for sports organisers of all sizes. With the right digital strategy, the organisers of these sports have an opportunity to create new digital business models
which produce revenue streams that did not previously exist. In the process they can reinvest this additional revenue, growing their sporting brand, their facilities, their sporting performance, opportunities for expanded competition, and continue
to expand their opportunities for reinvestment and sponsorship opportunities that are attracted by the additional exposure.
Opportunity exists for niche and small sports to engage in shared revenue broadcasting (where national sporting bodies do not prevent this). Under the model, sports enter free-to-air television broadcasting agreements, generating additional revenue and
growing their code, opportunities may also exist to develop live streaming of significant events. In Australia, the major sporting codes such as AFL, NRL and cricket are built on selling broadcasting rights to media partners.
The traditional model for revenue generation is unpalatable to broadcasters when it comes to niche or emerging sports that lack a large following. The shared revenue broadcasting business model, most recently seen with Nine and Telstra’s signing
of Netball Australia to a prime time free-to-air television slot, is made possible via broadcasters accepting a reduced fee for the broadcast rights, but a share in revenue from the sporting code itself. In the process, the broadcaster also injects
funds into the sport, helping to support it by sharing the costs associated with player salaries, club distributions, enhanced sponsorship opportunities for the code and individual teams or athletes, and additional exposure to the sport.
For niche sports and smaller grass roots sporting organisations, the ready availability of digital services represents the emergence of a marketing opportunity; television deals for sports with a small but dedicated viewer base that were previously infeasible
are now well positioned to take advantage of digital technology. Social media giants are increasingly moving into niche sports broadcasting. Facebook, for example, now streams games from the NBA Development League and similar deals may eventually
be open to niche sports in Australia if they are prepared. Similarly, technology has increasingly made straight to online broadcasting services a viable alternative for niche sporting outlets. Often this just requires a camera a laptop and the right
support and facilities. Importantly this does not always have to be revenue driven and can instead be accessibility driven to increase awareness, support and participation with the aim to increase downstream opportunities.
Naming, pouring, catering and signage opportunities must be identified as part of a broader strategy for infrastructure. It must be considered in terms of marketing strategy (ensuring that values are aligned) as well as any leasing strategy. If considered
as part of an overall strategy, these components can all work together to provide an additional revenue stream for the infrastructure, while minimising upfront costs and providing a cash injection. Each of these components will be required to be considered
on a case-by-case basis and should be looked at in the design stage to obtain expressions of interest. State level facilities (particularly if they are part of broader shared facilities and cultural hubs) are likely to attract significant interest
and warrant the planning required to attract and assess bids.
Any naming, pouring, catering and signage rights should be pursued in-line with government objectives and desired outcomes for the facilities, and care should be taken to avoid contracts with onerous terms and should likely include some form of profit
Increased commercialisation can improve the outcomes of sporting facilities and events by improving utilisation of spaces and increasing attendance, creating an overall positive experience for all those involved. Given this, there is an opportunity
and a need for a shared resource at DLGSC that can provide support for sporting bodies to investigate commercialisation opportunities available via their facilities. This would typically take the form of leasing spaces or facilities to third-party
for commercial purposes. Opportunities may also exist to engage specialist commercial facility managers who can provide services to SSAs in a mutually beneficial manner enabling SSAs to use their limited resources to manage the core responsibilities
of their sports.
The continued shift toward shared facilities and broader cultural hubs will create greater leasing and commercial opportunities for facility operators. Cultural hubs will be activity anchors with activation across wide time periods owing to their uses.
Similarly, the location of future facilities in areas with excellent transport linkages will drive usage. These qualities will be attractive to many potential tenants who will desire an installed customer base, excellent activation and stable activity
anchors that drive visitation across day time and night-time. Taking advantage of these opportunities will bring in much needed commercial revenue to facility management as well as increasing the utility of the facility.
Sport is an integral part of Western Australian culture. It delivers benefits across a wide spectrum of measures, from community sense of pride and social connectivity, to tourism, health and productivity. The benefits arising from sport result in a favourable
return on investment, providing a clear rationale for the continued investment in sport. Facilities, in particular, are the enablers of sport and continued investment in high quality facilities will ensure that these benefits of participation and
high-performance activity can continue to be generated. Ongoing strategic forward planning and facility management will ensure that facility investment is efficient and assists in achieving both sporting and government objectives.
Policy direction, consultation and review have highlighted that changes are required to achieve sustainable facilities investment and support a healthy sporting industry. In particular:
There is a need to better target investment towards improved outcomes, increasing the level of funding available to the sector and making better use of the existing facilities. These changes are needed in a time when trends of falling participation and
declining sports performance are apparent and there is an increased need to justify government funding in all spheres. Similarly, funding must equip sports with the ability to take part in the uptake of new technologies, so they are not left
behind and can reduce their reliance on government funding.
These trends and policy objectives have made apparent the need for efficient use of funding that avoids duplication, increases communication between central planning agencies and other stakeholders and develops inclusive events planning strategies. There
is a need to utilise the government funding in a strategic way, ensuring that funding is directly linked to broader government objectives. Similarly, there is scope for assisting State Sporting Agencies to increasingly commercialise and improve the
utilisation and financial sustainability of their facilities.
Greater planning between central agencies and stakeholders will need to take place. Events planning that encompasses multiple sports and stakeholders will ensure that money invested in sports achieves greater impact and value for the state. This will
include a strategic shift toward higher likelihood events without competitive tenders that make use of Western Australia’s natural advantages. A move toward shared facilities will ensure duplication of infrastructure is reduced and utilisation
of facilities as a whole is increased through the development of cultural hubs, opening up commercial opportunities associated with State Sporting Facilities and major events.
Potential revenue generating initiatives, when supported through facilities investment and other resources, can result in greater outcomes for State Sporting Associations and the Western Australian public. Moves toward assisting State Sporting Associations
modernise and enter the digital marketplace will increase utilisation and their ability to generate revenue and funding. Similarly, organisational support throughout the design and operation of facilities will improve State Sporting Association’s
ability to generate their own revenue, reducing reliance on public funding.
Directly linking the achievement of government objectives to facility funding will increasingly require data and evidence. The measurement of sporting outcomes associated with State Sporting Facilities presents the opportunity for Western Australian sports
to clearly demonstrate their impact and attract a wider range of revenue and funding sources.
These changes will support better planning and a more sustainable sporting sector, ensuring improved value and superior outcomes for all Western Australians.
Key results from the survey of SSAs are summarised below and discussed in Section 4.2.
Figure 19. Number of State Sporting Agencies Bidding for Events
Figure 20. No of State Sporting Agencies that Experience Issues When Bidding for Events
Figure 21. Issues identified as Reasons for not Bidding (No. of Respondents) —Self assessed
Figure 22. Rating of Various Components of State Facilities
Figure 23. Average Usage of State Facilities Across all Sports
Figure 24. Average Use of State Facility by Sport (Sorted by International and National Competition Use)
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