Oval upgrades send footy fixture out of bounds

A MEETING will be held today to discuss if recently approved upgrade works to Tanunda Recreation Park will interfere with the Barossa, Light & Gawler Football Association’s 2018 season fixture.

Barossa Council approved several upgrades at its December meeting, including an expansion of the oval’s ‘run-off’ – the space between the edge of the playing field and the fence – after it was identified that it did not meet AFL guidelines.

The official guidelines require an AFL facility’s run-off to be at least three metres wide for local level competitions – with a five-metre run-off encouraged for all new oval developments – following an interstate incident where a player was injured on a perimeter fence.

Elected members also supported an improvement to the park’s electrical supply and a replacement of the oval’s lights, which were deemed unsafe and non-compliant with current standards.

Barossa Council chief executive Martin McCarthy told The Bunyip that council would meet with representatives of the Tanunda Football Club and the Barossa, Light & Gawler Football Association, in relation to the approved upgrades, today.

Mr McCarthy hoped the meeting would address any potential scheduling issues for the upcoming season as a result of the upgrades, which are still in the “planning stages”.

“…Council is mindful of AFL oval run-off guideline requirements of ensuring there is between three and five metres from the edge of the playing area to perimeter fencing,” he said.

Mr McCarthy said council decided to do all the separate upgrade works in one go, to avoid rework and additional costs in the future.

“With works now approved to proceed with the upgrade of the electrical supply to the Tanunda Recreation Park, and the replacement of oval lighting, it is also timely to ensure that the width of the oval will be compliant, moving forward,” he said.

The Barossa, Light & Gawler Football Association was contacted for comment, but a spokesman said further details could not be provided until after the meeting with council and Tanunda Football Club had been held.

Tanunda Recreation Park was flagged to undergo a major redevelopment in the coming years through Barossa Councils’ ‘Big Project’.

The infrastructure project is aimed at filling gaps in the region’s recreation, sports and cultural facilities and initiatives.

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Growing up in Roseworthy and attending Kapunda High School, Laura joins The Bunyip in June, 2016 whilst completing the final year of a double degree in Journalism and International Relations at University of SA. This is Laura's first role as a Journalist following a stint at Gawler Council in the Communications Department. She will cover the news in the Playford and Mallala council regions. Outside of work, Laura enjoys anything health and well-being related, and can be regularly seen shopping for fresh, healthy produce at local markets.

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