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HEIRISSON ISLAND DEVELOPMENT The Town Planning Commissioner Mrt D. L. Davidson) yesterday drew attention -to the plans prepared by his board in 1947 for the National Fitness Council to show what amateur sports and national games could be accommodated on Heirisson Island as reclaimed.
The island, said Mr. David son, had been known by vari ous names, including Cause way Island and the "Stileman Sausage." The design (illus trated on this page) was sub mitted by the Minister for Edu cation (Mr. Watts) to the Gov ernment with the suggestion that the island become a class A recreation reserve and be ves ted in the National Fitness Council as a home and head quarters for sporting bodies. Cabinet decided and directed in November, 1947, that the island should become a class A reserve for recreation under the Land Act, but that the ques tion of vesting in the National Fitness Council be held in abeyance until the Town Plan ning Commissioner and the Main Roads Commissioner had conferred regarding traffic ac cess to the new Causeway. The need for accommodation for the National Fitness head quarters, the scarcity of suit able sites and their cost, com bined with the dearth of play ing fields for amateur sports,
particularly for youth groups located in the city and inner suburbs, made it imperative that some steps be taken to provide at least one or two sporting arenas at the earliest possible date, and the National Fitness Council decided to again approach the Govern ment for the necessary vesting order. Last week the Govern ment made the decision to pass the area over to the National Fitness Council. The plan, which had yet to be considered in detail and revised by the National Fitness Council, provided for an Olym pic sports arena of standard size with running tracks and grandstand, an Olympic pool, a National Fitness headquar ters, four basket-ball courts, four hockey fields, 18 tennis courts, a baseball ground, a cycling track and a sports arena, together with headquar ters of rowing and other asso ciated aquatic sports. Tree-Planting Programme Ample parking facilities for some 5,000 cars had been re tained, Mr. Davidson said, and a complete arboreal and tree planting programme had been tentatively studied. The juxta position of the various activi ties was dependent somewhat on the bearing capacity of the island ground, most of which was reclaimed, and the present programme of development might have to be amended to meet this inescapable require ment. Mr. Davidson said that in 1929 he suggested the develop ment of the island as an Olym pic sports ground with a view to holding the Olympic Games in Western Australia in 1944. Now an opportunity was given by the Government for the amateur sporting bodies and associated youth groups under the guidance of the National Fitness Council to develop an area which, when completed, would be unsurpassed for Em pire Games and interstate com petitions, including swimming.