Wide-Ranging Review of Ground Options Begins
15 July 2014  

The Western Australian Cricket Association has engaged highly respected company director and businessman Michael Smith to head a special committee to review and make recommendations on the future of the WACA Ground.

Mr Smith has been appointed independent chairman of the Future Development Strategy Committee, which also includes current WACA Board members, former executive director of Harvey Norman Stephen Hauville, St John of God Hospital Subiaco CEO Dr Lachlan Henderson, Mining Executive Alan Rule, Federal Member for Pearce Christian Porter and WACA CEO Christina Matthews.

The committee has been asked to present its report to the WACA Board in December this year. The report will include recommendations for redevelopment and infrastructure with associated funding options aimed primarily at benefiting cricket, WACA members and the public.

WACA Chairman Sam Gannon said it was important to move forward decisively in the interests of cricket, WACA members and the cricket loving public after it had been decided last year not to proceed with the previous development for the WACA Ground and its immediate surrounds.

"We could not have secured a better person to head-up this important review," Mr Gannon said.

"Michael Smith’s deep understanding of sport and business in this State through his current and previous roles ensures that all options for setting cricket on a confident and sustainable new course will be thoroughly explored.

"In addition, the experience of existing members of the Board and Executive on the committee brings a high degree of business rigor to the process."

Mr Gannon said that it was important that every option for securing the future of cricket in Western Australia was investigated.

"During the past two years we have invested significant funds in facilities at the WACA Ground, but clearly we need to consider options that meet the current and future expectations of spectators and make watching cricket more enjoyable," he said.

"The new Perth Stadium at Burswood will bring new options for sports such as cricket and football in this State, and how these will fit with existing facilities such as the WACA and Patersons Stadium will be important considerations.

"At this stage the WACA Board remains committed to the WACA Ground continuing to be the home of cricket in Western Australia.

"Based on historical attendance data and examples of other venues around Australia, Test Matches at the new Perth Stadium would not appear to be viable, notwithstanding the commercial terms for staging events at the new Perth Stadium are still unknown.

"The review currently being conducted by Mr Smith and his committee will consider all options, including this issue and I am confident we will determine an outcome that will see cricket continue to prosper in Western Australia.

"The WACA will continue to work to grow cricket in WA and develop facilities that meet the needs of WA fans, teams, grass-roots participants and staff."

About Michael Smith

Michael Smith is one of Australia's acknowledged authorities on strategic marketing. In 1979, Michael formed The Marketing Centre which for more than 30 years provided strategic marketing advice to an unrivalled client list including many of Australia's most iconic brands. Michael is currently the Principal of boutique strategic development consulting firm, Black House.

Michael's contributions at the board level are considerable. He is the current Chairman of iiNet, the Lionel Samson Sadleirs Group and Pioneer Credit; Deputy Chairman of Automotive Holdings Group and a non-executive Director of 7-Eleven, a chain of 600 convenience stores on Australia's east coast. Having served as the West Australian State President since 2011 and as a board member and Deputy Chairman of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Michael was inaugurated as National Chairman in May 2013. Michael is also on the board of Giving West and Creative Partnerships Australia.

Michael's previously held roles include Chair of the Perth International Arts Festival, Chairman and Director of the West Coast Eagles, Indian Pacific Limited and Scotch College and a Director of HOME Building Society. Other past positions include Chairman of the Pearling Industry Advisory Committee, President of the Australian Marketing Institute and a member of the national board.