Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Unley Oval’s picket fencing around the perimeter of the Oval gets the go ahead after a marathon session on Monday night.

My motion, an improvement on an option suggested by our Administration, was carried 8 to 4.

Concerned that the motion suggested by our Administration did no go far enough I opted to be the mover of an alternate motion, albeit an extension of their suggestion. In lieu of  gates being spaced at 50 metre intervals I felt it more desirable and truly representative of our stated aim to keep the oval as open as it is possible by adding a condition that the final design allows for gates to provide access to all key features of the facility as far as is practicable.

I am proud to have taken the lead on this. Being personally non political I did my homework to make sure that whatever decision I made would be the correct one. That entailed being fully aware of what the public said in our consultation by reading all submissions.

As I indicated on the night it was interesting to note that those for and those against used the same argument. It will improve the look and feel of the ground vs it will destroy the amenity of the ground. It will be safer vs it will cause safety issues.

I found I had to determine for myself what was correct and I saw the use of a low level picket fence with appropriate openings as improving the amenity. I also saw, after a member of the public provided a photo of a child, supposedly belonging to one of the coaching staff at a recent training session out on the Oval with the playing group.

Whilst that may have been a common place practice when I grew up we know much more about Work, Health, Safety and have legislation drawing us to ensuring safe work places; as this must be seen to be.

This ultimately tipped my hand to being in favour of a fence because it addresses in my opinion the landlords obligations toward providing a safe work place. This WILL assist in avoiding injury to children of other parents during matches (at all levels, not just league) and training sessions.

If coaches allow their or players children onto the playing arena that becomes solely the responsibility of the Sturt FC. As I indicated on the night in my talking to my motion the President and the CEO of the club I am sure will take action against the offender and to ensure all personal are more conscious of safety in their workplace in the future.

Of course the fence cannot and will not be erected unless we can secure funding of 2/3 rds of the cost of the fencing from outside, a key component of the motion. So as I am tending to say with many of my blogs….watch this space.