Perth win, Swan Districts lose from WAFL boundary review
Swan Districts will lose a population zone of at least 21,000 people – including more than 400 junior footballers – under a review of WAFL club boundaries expected to be confirmed by the end of June.
Swans will be the biggest losers under the proposed revamp while Perth, who have been urging the WA Football Commission for years to provide them with a more fertile zone, will gain a larger part of 10 suburbs in the city’s south-east corridor and nearly 700 juniors.
East Perth will gain parts of Caversham and Henley Brook from Swans while the new suburbs of Brabham and Dayton will also shift to the Royals to give the club a future growth area. Swans made a pointed submission to the WAFC that no boundary changes were required because they had “invested significantly in their current zone, and a boundary change rewards a lack of investment from other WAFL clubs”.
But the recommended boundary changes will remove part of Swans’ north-west zone as well as Bindoon and Muchea. The review recommendations are not likely to improve the fractious relationship between Swans and the WAFC which saw the club make scathing accusations against former commissioner Grant Dorrington at the recent parliamentary inquiry into WA football and, last season, ban chairman Wayne Martin and WAFL manager Scott Baker from their colts changerooms on grand final day.
Perth’s scant talent pool was underlined last weekend when their colts team managed just three behinds in a big loss to West Perth. The Demons recently ended a WAFL record 22-year finals drought but have not won a league final since 1997.
Perth’s feedback to the WAFC was that “significant change was required to the Perth district” and they “require a growth area”. There was little change recommended for country zones – though East Perth made an audacious bid to take over rich regional centre Albany from Claremont – with mostly tinkering at the edges of the various metropolitan zones.
The major recommendations are:
Claremont gain North Fremantle and lose Innaloo and Osborne Park.
East Fremantle gain Aubin Grove but lose part of Southern River and Seville Grove.
East Perth get Innaloo, Osborne Park, Caversham and Henley Brook but lose Alexander Heights.
Peel lose parts of Rockingham and Baldivis.
Perth gain Seville Grove, Southern River, Byford, Bindoon and Muchea.
South Fremantle gain Rockingham and Baldivis but lose Aubin Grove and Byford.
Subiaco gain Alexander Heights and Gnangara.
Swans lose Caversham, Henley Brook, Brabham, Dayton, Bindoon and Muchea.
West Perth lose Gnangara.