Council awaits Government Green Light on Waterfront Oval upgrade

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Council is pushing ahead in a bid to gain Government authority approval to turn the two Waterfront Oval playing fields in Callan Park into a modern training and playing facility.

The $2 million upgrade, fully funded by Council, will feature new lighting 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.

Mayor Darcy Byrne said this urgently needed Waterfront upgrade, with lights first on the agenda, will benefit huge numbers of local junior players but has been held up by approval needed from the NSW Government’s Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) who have care and control of the ground.

“Having proposed and fully funded this upgrade firstly as Leichhardt Mayor, it's been incredibly frustrating to see the Government delay the project for more than a year," he said.

“It’s a good short term step that the Office of Environment and Heritage have allocated $21,000 for urgent repairs to the playing surface but we also need the Heritage Council to get fully on board and support the project.

“There is such a dire shortage of recreation space in the inner west, so the extended hours of use for the fields that lights will allow would be fantastic news for local kids.”

Balmain District Football Club registrar Paul Avery said putting lights in prior to next winter will help cater for the growing demand arising from the club’s 2600 players, the largest community football club in Australia.

“Lights will ensure Waterfront Oval can be used for night games during winter that will benefit our club as well as other football clubs in the Inner West Council area,” he said.

“There is at present a complete lack of night fixtures in the Inner West Council area so if weekend games get washed out, it’s incredibly hard for the local football association, CDSFA, to make up those games,” he said.

“While only the full $2 million field upgrade will provide a sustainable increase in training field allocations, getting the lights in now will allow us to schedule low-impact evening use next winter, such as night games and much-needed coach training.”

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