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Cockburn council votes for Dockers agreement

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The City of Cockburn council has voted in favour of a heads-of-agreement arrangement with the Fremantle Dockers, in regards to the AFL club's potential move to a new training base in Cockburn.

The City of Cockburn council has voted in favour of a heads-of-agreement arrangement with the Fremantle Dockers, in regards to the AFL club's potential move to a new training base in Cockburn.

The Fremantle Dockers have described the City of Cockburn's proposal to house the club as a "compelling case."

Club president Steve Harris welcomed the City's approval of a heads-of-agreement arrangement between the two parties.

The City of Cockburn council has voted in favour of a heads-of-agreement arrangement that brings the Fremantle Dockers a step closer to being based at a greenfields site in Cockburn.

At a special meeting on Wednesday night, the council voted 6-3 in favour of a recommendation from the City of Cockburn that it accept a heads-of-agreement between the city and the Fremantle Football Club and utilise the information contained in the agreement as the basis for preparation of a business plan.

The agreement relates to a proposed $107 million integrated facility, which would house both an aquatic and recreation facility and a new elite training base for the Dockers.

Fremantle Football club has not yet completely ruled out the option of remaining in Fremantle with redeveloped facilities.

While Mr Harris said the consultation process with both cities was ongoing, he praised the progress of the Cockburn proposal.

"It is clear that the proposed development at Cockburn Central West has the potential to deliver a compelling case in terms of the scope, scale and nature of facilities that can be developed on this green field site," he said.

Mr Harris said there were a number of high level issues that still needed to be resolved by the City of Cockburn and the club.

"There are also still matters to consider further with regard to tenure, access and finance, which will require continued discussion between the City of Cockburn and the club," he said.

"Given that those matters were the subject of confidential deliberations at last night's special council meeting it is not appropriate that the club comment further on those matters."

City of Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett said Cockburn was now "well-placed to be the FDFC's preferred option."

"The HOA was a significant decision for the City that could pave the way for a new state-of-the-art integrated Aquatic and Recreation Community Facility for the region," he said.

The agenda for Wednesday night's meeting noted that the heads-of-agreement would provide an "obligation for the two parties to proceed with the project subject to a number of conditions", although it is non-binding until the council has considered and endorsed a business plan.

The club has been considering its location for more than four-and-a-half years.

Both the City of Fremantle, which had pitched a $100 million Fremantle Oval redevelopment at the Dockers, and South Fremantle, the AFL club's current co-tenant, have been expecting news of a Cockburn move for some time.

It is understood the City of Fremantle council regards the Cockburn heads-of-agreement as a virtual death knell to its proposal of a $100 million redevelopment to house the Dockers' new state-of-the-art training facility.

In the agenda notes for Wednesday night's meeting, proposed milestones for the construction of the facility included a March 2014 start of construction and a February 2016 opening date.

Amendments made to the agreement by councillors at Wednesday's meeting will now be presented to the Fremantle Dockers for their consideration.

-With Aleisha Orr

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