Will picket fences be considered under a yet to be commenced Master Plan for Unley Oval or will they sneak in through the back door before the plan starts.
This is effectively what is on the line when Council debates on Monday night (at …. don’t forget….. Goodwood Community Centre) a trial of fencing in isolated locations around the Oval in the coming months.
At their recent meeting the Unley Oval Advisory Group felt it might be a good idea to trial fencing around the oval (in sections only) to gauge how well they may work to address OHSW concerns of Sturt FC. It was also felt by the group that it would give Council an opportunity to gauge how well received fencing may or may not be by the residents who use the area when organised sporting activities are not being conducted on the ground.
There has been widespread media attention to Sturt’s “need” for picket fencing.
The trial however will be using the fencing that is currently erected each home game and herein lies what I believe, as a member of the Unley Oval Advisory Group, was the real impetus behind considering such a trial.
Our management responsible for erecting and dismantling the fencing for these home games (yes this is done at our cost, not Sturt’s) are concerned at the age of the fencing and the logistics of conducting this exercise, on weekends. Having enough staff to be available is proving a concern to our management and as we approach the time when we must make a decision to replace this temporary fencing because it is no longer usable we are being faced with a need to consider whether we should continue to use temporary fencing at cost to our ratepayers or come up with another solution.
In accepting these concerns it is not unreasonable for the Advisory Group to make the suggestion they have to Council and I support that right.
I have a serious concern however, as a Councillor that the timing of this is inappropriate in that it should not be done without first having been considered as part of the Master Planning for this facility. It is simply wrong to make decisions about new or changed infrastructure before Master Planning is carried out.
As the Master Planning is not ready yet to commence I will be encouraging Council to not proceed even though I am a member of the group proposing it.
Let’s get into the Master Planning, which will address the needs of ALL the clubs using the Oval and surrounds AND importantly the residents who use it as well.
PS I will report the decision made on Monday night as soon as I am able so watch this space.