Park’s wicket not cricket, say res­i­dents

Melville Times - - News - Josh Zim­mer­man

CLOSE to 300 Mur­doch res­i­dents have signed a pe­ti­tion protest­ing the in­stal­la­tion of a turf wicket at Bert Jef­frey Park and ques­tion­ing why they were not con­sulted be­fore­hand.

The wicket was paid for by the Ap­ple­cross Cricket Club, which trains at Shirley Strick­land Re­serve but cur­rently lacks a turf wicket – a re­quire­ment to host home games.

Res­i­dents be­lieve Bert Jef­frey is too small to ac­com­mo­date a cricket pitch and fear los­ing ac­cess to the park dur­ing train­ing ses­sions and week­end games.

Peter and Vicki Old­ham started the pe­ti­tion af­ter find­ing out about plans to in­stall the pitch from work­ers ad­just­ing retic­u­la­tion at Bert Jef­frey.

“My sis­ter went to the City of Melville the next day on Fe­bru­ary 21 and was told let­ters were go­ing out to nearby res­i­dents but they didn’t ar­rive un­til Fe­bru­ary 27,” Mr Old­ham said.

“By then work was al­ready well and truly un­der­way – de­spite the let­ter it­self say­ing work would only be­gin in early March.”

Melville chief ex­ec­u­tive Shayne Sil­cox said a sched­uled retic­u­la­tion up­grade at Bert Jef­fery Park had pre­sented an op­por­tu­nity to re-as­sess how best to utilise the re­serve.

“Many such spa­ces are used for ac­tive sports in the City of Melville, with neigh­bour­ing res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties rarely re­port­ing is­sues,” Dr Sil­cox said.

“The use and en­joy­ment of such public places is part of our com­mu­nity, adding to our vi­brancy and sense of place and while the up­grades will have a lim­ited im­pact on users and res­i­dents let­ters were sent to ad­ja­cent residences to in­form them of the up­grade works.”

Nearby res­i­dent Leanne Har­ri­son said Bert Jef­frey was al­ready heav­ily utilised by neigh­bour­hood kids and dog walk­ers and ques­tioned why the wicket had not been in­stalled at Ap­ple­cross Cricket Club’s home base.

“Shirley Strick­land Re­serve would have made a lot more sense, Bert Jef­frey is a tiny lit­tle park with very lim­ited park­ing,” she said.

Dr Sil­cox said the re­de­vel­oped Shirley Strick­land would likely in­clude a se­nior and ju­nior foot­ball club, ex­pos­ing any po­ten­tial turf wicket to un­ac­cept­able lev­els of wear and tear dur­ing win­ter.

“It should be noted that (Bert Jef­frey Park) is re­garded as be­ing Xabi Bell and Jay Har­ri­son are among the Mur­doch res­i­dents up­set about a turf wicket re­cently in­stalled at Bert Jef­frey Park. suit­able for lower par­tic­i­pa­tion sports as an over­flow or sec­ond ground, with only stor­age needed but no re­quire­ments for club rooms, toilet and chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

“The field size and avail­able park­ing at Bert Jef­fery Park is suit­able to ac­com­mo­date cricket and a turf wicket.”

Ap­ple­cross Cricket Club pres­i­dent Ryan Car­mody said the pitch would rarely be used for prac­tice ses­sions and that the vast ma­jor­ity of matches would be lim­ited to 12pm to 6pm on a Satur­day.

“Play­ers at the club are also City of Melville ratepay­ers and have as much right to use the park as any­one,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.