Council wins green light for Waterfront Oval upgrade
Monday, 3 April 2017
After extensive lobbying from Inner West Council and community groups, Council now has the go ahead to give Waterfront Oval a $2 million dollar upgrade entirely funded by Council to make it a modern training and playing facility.
The Office of Environment and Heritage has given Council in principle support for the works, which means Council can proceed with the long-awaited upgrade.
The upgrade will feature new lighting to allow night training, and resurfacing of two playing fields to improve the ground quality. New irrigation and drainage will also help make sure that fields are closed for less time after heavy rain.
Administrator Richard Pearson said that the upgrade was welcome news for local clubs crying out for training and playing space.
“We welcome this common sense decision from the Office of Environment and Heritage and NSW Health to allow Council to manage Waterfront Oval,” he said.
“There is such a dire shortage of recreation space in the inner west, so the extended hours of use for the fields are fantastic news for local kids.
“We need the Heritage Council to get on board and support the project, in particular the flood lighting.
“Council has proven in the past that we can make this work, with our care and control of the Balmain Road and Glover Street fields resulting in wonderful upgrades to playing conditions there, so there’s no reason for the Heritage Council to baulk at the plans.”
Former Mayor of Leichhardt and member of Inner West Council’s Advisory Committee Darcy Byrne said he campaigned strongly for the upgrade to go ahead.
“Having proposed and fully funded this upgrade as Mayor, it's been incredibly frustrating to see the Government delay the project for almost a year," he said.
"Thank you to the parents and kids from local clubs who have fought so hard to force the Government to reverse their opposition to the project."
The work will be funded over the next two financial years with all works to be completed in 2018.
The upgrade was proposed by the former Leichhardt Council and the new Inner West Council has spent a number of months negotiating with the State Government to allow the proposal to go ahead.