Council to water sporting fields now to avoid “quite astronomical” cost later
SPORTING fields and parks in Dubbo will continue to be watered under restricted irrigation while the city is under Level 4 restrictions, after Council adopted a staff report on the matter.
Council says the key reason is the cost of rehabilitating sporting fields and parks after the drought.
“I think in a very responsible way this report proposes that we do what is necessary... to conserve water but also the need to not incur a big financial expense,” Cr Stephen Lawrence said.
The reduced watering regime has been chosen in preference to a switch off mandate which would “enable better long-term management and reduce expect costs of recovering lost turf”, the staff report said.
The combined rehabilitation of South Dubbo, Pioneer Park and Jubilee Park, which equates to 18 hectares in total, would cost up to $594,000 to reseed, $1,386,000 to stolonise (a common method used to establish turf in larger areas), up to $2,610,000 to re-turf, up to $585,000 to replant 50 trees, plus $900,000 in irrigation costs.
“It shouldn’t be thought of in the community that this represents a walking away from the water restrictions in any way. If anyone is of that view then I would certainly suggest they go to page 94 of the council meeting pages and read the report, because what it basically says is that unless we do
DUBBO PHOTO NEWS this, the financial damage will really be quite astronomical.”
Watering of playing fields has, however, attracted criticism.
“I know there has been a lot of criticism on social media about playing fields being watered, but it’s totally differing to anything owned by private residents because it’s there for the entire community,” Cr John Ryan said.
“Even if you don’t use it, just to drive past it, just gives you a feeling of hope, I suppose,” he said.
Cr Jane Diffey agreed with the importance of maintaining the fields to a standard that prevents them from dying, which would cost council a lot of money down the track to repair and replace.
“I think it’s important that we stress to community that it’s just for restricted irrigation, so that these ovals can be used,” she said.
Dubbo Regional Council will continue to maintain playing fields and parks under a restricted watering regime to ensure they can continue to be used, and avoid large expenses to regrow them after the drought. Pictured is Hans Claven Oval this week. PHOTO: